Procurement management

Is your contractor banned from receiving federal funds? Don’t wait to find out

Originally Published: August 24, 2021

As you enter into new federally funded contracts this year, you need to know if your contractor has been banned from doing business with the federal government. Commonly referred to as suspension and debarment, these requirements are fairly easy to comply with, yet they are one of SAO's most common audit findings. We first ran this article in August 2021, and due to its importance, we're republishing it as a reminder.

Keep these tips in mind if you are spending FEMA Public Assistance money

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance Program was activated March 13, 2020, when President Trump declared the ongoing coronavirus pandemic an emergency under the Stafford Act. With recent passage of the CARES Act, the program has received an influx of resources available to state and local governments.

Based on our years of experience auditing FEMA public assistance grants and FEMA's current guidance, we have a few suggestions and resources for you:

Document your expenses

Piggybacking law change eases contract requirement

State law (RCW 39.34.030) allows for cooperative purchasing among two or more public agencies. In 2019, the Legislature amended the statute to allow any public agency to use the bid of another public agency for its own purposes if the awarding agency met their own bidding requirements. This is a change to how our Office looks at piggybacking and group purchasing arrangements. For audit purposes, we would expect local governments to evaluate group purchasing contracts as outlined below.