Updated Guidance on Use of the Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) to Ensure Timely Procurement of Food Resources   [open pdf - 910KB]

"USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] and DOC [Department of Commerce] have entered into a new agreement that authorizes DHS to place DPAS [Defense Priorities and Allocations System] rated orders for certain food resources in support of DHS Approved Programs. Pursuant to this agreement and the January 7, 2010, delegation of DPAS Delegation 4 authority from the Administrator, the addressees on this memorandum are now authorized to use their DPAS Delegation 4 authority to place rated orders for food resources, subject to the limitation described in the following paragraph. This authority will continue in effect until such time as USDA issues final regulations providing procedures for use of its DPA priorities authority with respect to food resources. In general, eligible food resources under the USDA-DOC agreement include, but are not limited to: Meals Ready-to-Eat; commercial self-heating meals; commercially packaged foodstuffs; commercial grocery items; carbonated beverages; fruit juices and other liquid consumables (other than water). (For a complete definition of 'food resources,' see the Attachment entitled 'The Exercise of Authority by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency Under DPAS Delegation 4.') The DPAS Delegation 4 limitation on use of rated orders for 'common use items' applies with respect to food resources. Rated orders may not be used for food resources that are commonly available in commercial markets for general consumption and do not require major modification when purchased for approved program use, unless these items are in short supply. This limitation does not apply to meals Ready-to-Eat or other food resources that are, generally, prepared or packaged to meet national defense procurement needs, including disaster preparedness and response needs. Nor does this limitation apply for contracts and orders placed to prepare for, respond to, or recover from a declared emergency or disaster under the Stafford Act. In the event of a declared emergency or disaster, it may be assumed that food resources needed for emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities are in short supply and could not be procured in a time fashion without using a rated order."

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