Gulf Coast Hurricane Recovery: Asset Management Practices & Authorities

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Archived material on GSA's response to the Hurricane Katrina Support Efforts.

GSA provides guidance on appropriate asset (aircraft, motor vehicles, and personal property) management in response to Hurricane support efforts.

Personal Property

Personal Property Authorities Related to Emergencies & Disaster Relief

Use of Agency Property

As part of their mission, certain agencies have specific authorities provided under law which authorize them to use property in the case of emergencies or to assist in disaster relief.

Agencies may be directed by the President or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide personal property to support emergency relief. See the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended by Public Law 106-390, October 30, 2000 and 44 CFR 206.5. Disaster Relief must be coordinated with the Federal Coordinating Officer appointed by FEMA. See 44 CFR 206.64.

Agencies may use federal personal property to prevent loss of life or property even if the items were not acquired for this purpose. See 41 CFR 101-25.100.

Transfer of Excess Property

Agencies may transfer excess personal property to other federal agencies authorized to provide emergency services. See FMR 102-36.

Agencies may transfer computers and research equipment directly to an educational institution to conduct technical and scientific education and research activities (15 USC 3710). Agencies may transfer computers directly to pre-K through 12th grade schools and educational programs through the Computers for Learning Program. (EO 12999 and FMR 102-36.475).

Donation of Surplus Property

Agency property may be donated to state agencies after the General Services Administration (GSA) completes federal excess screening and after GSA directs the property to the appropriate state activity. Property must first be reported to GSA for federal excess screening. Federal excess screening may be expedited. Excess personal property becomes available for donation after GSA has determined the property to be surplus. See FMR 102-37.30.

Disaster or emergency situations may be a basis for the allocation of surplus personal property under FMR 102-37.100.

Loans to State and Local Government

Agencies may loan property to state and local governments with or without compensation and prior to reporting it as excess to GSA for an emergency or disaster situation. See FMR 102-36.370.

Acquisition of Personal Property

Procurement - Acquisition of property must be in compliance with federal law and regulation. In times of emergency, special provisions may apply.

Transfer - To the greatest extent practicable, agencies should obtain property from within their agency, or from property excess to other agencies.

Gift acceptance - Certain agencies have specific authorities provided under law which authorize them to accept conditional or unconditional gifts to the agency. These laws may specify what types of gifts may be accepted. For example, GSA may only accept "unconditional" gifts in support of its mission (See 40 USC 3175). Other agencies may also accept conditional gifts to be used for a specific situation. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice has authority under 28 USC 524(d) and implementing policy

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Authorizes GSA Personal Property Donations

GSA requested authorization from FEMA to "convey, lend, or donate" excess or surplus federal personal property assets to state and local organizations involved in relief and disaster assistance efforts under the provisions of the Stafford Act.

Mr. Richard Gray of FEMA approved GSA's request on September 12, 2005.

This authority gives GSA the flexibility to provide these assets without screening for other federal or donation requests; instead allowing the expeditious use of this property in the areas most affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The full title of the Stafford Act is "Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act". The appropriate implementing regulation is 44 CFR 206.5.

Last Reviewed: 2021-11-22