While it’s helpful to be prepared when dealing with any government contracting opportunity, FEMA disaster relief contracts are a particularly special case.
These contracts are often issued on a no-bid, immediate need basis. This makes sense – when a disaster hits, residents of impacted areas need immediate assistance. They can’t wait for a formal bidding process to clear debris or procure emergency supplies. They also can’t wait for your business to get registered. If you aren’t prepared and ready to get to work when you’re talking to a contracting officer, you’re not likely to get that contract.
In order to work on contracts or receive payments from federal agencies like FEMA, businesses must complete the required registration. This includes:
- D&B DUNS Number
- CCR Registration
- ORCA Filing
- Any Agency-Specific Registration, Such as the FEMA Vendor Profile
Many contractors don’t even think about their registration until an opportunity has presented itself. This is risky enough with a typical federal contract – bids can be rejected if proper registration is not completed. With a disaster response contract from FEMA, neglecting registration can spell almost certain failure. Think about it: Immediately after a disaster, there is a flood of contractors looking for work. Most contracts are awarded to local contractors who simply show up ready to work. If you are unprepared due to a lapsed registration, it is unlikely you’ll be awarded a contract. If you are awarded a contract, don’t count yourself lucky yet. FEMA will be unable to pay you for your work until your registration is completed.
There are other perks to completing registration ahead of time. Often, no-bid contracts are awarded by contracting officers who simply call one or two businesses out of the yellow pages. If the businesses already have their registration taken care of, they could receive a contract on the spot. If not, the contracting officer is likely to just call the next number on their list, even if you promise to register right away.
CCR and ORCA registration can take 5-7 business days to complete with no problems or errors. However, with over 30% of registrations containing errors or omissions, it’s likely you’ll hit a snag or two along the way. Depending on the issue, it can take weeks – possibly even months – to iron out the problems and complete registration correctly.
To check your current registration status and ensure you’re up to date and error free, contact the Contractor Helpline at (877) 252-2700 ext 1 or fill out the form below for a free evaluation.