David Newsom

In terms of supporting the response and recovery effort, lets hope that USAID and other agencies involved in the recovery effort take advantage of the Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) regulation (15 CFR Part 700) to expedite deliveries of goods and services supporting the humanitarian efforts in Haiti. The DPAS could play an important role not simply in expediting humanitarian supplies now, but in expediting items, such as construction materials, to support the restoration of damaged critical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, hospitals, etc.

Basically, the DPAS could be a useful tool in expediting reconstruction efforts once contracts are awarded in the weeks and months ahead. My only fear is that USAID and other USG agencies supporting the U.S. Government’s Reconstruction and Stabilization team that will be involved in placing such contracts will have no clue that this authority exists. Unfortunately, it was an under-utilized tool used during the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina and could have been used to expedite the construction of emergency shelters. The reason is simple, not many people knew about this authority.

As part of the educational outreach effort, feel free to learn more about how to request DPAS assistance and visit the Department of Commerce DPAS program Web site at:


Since FEMA would likely be the lead DPAS agency working with USAID to use the DPAS in helping to expedite the delivery of goods, services, construction materials to Haiti, folks should visit their DPAS program Web site as well: