Senate Looks for Company to Outsource Emergency Management

The official in charge of security for the U.S. Senate needs help managing his stockpile of personal protective equipment for lawmakers.

In a procurement notice quietly published on the Web last week, the Senate sergeant-at-arms announced he was "conducting market research" on "viable organizations capable of providing the necessary services in support of (the Senate's) emergency preparedness operations."

The "Sources Sought" document asks companies to show that they have the capacity to manage more than 17,000 escape hoods, 1,000 special emergency pagers and 400 emergency supply kits the sergeant-at-arms has bought sine Sept. 11, 2001.

Companies will have to provide "on-site logistic and inventory support;" manage the database which tracks the inventory's expiration dates; provide technical support -- "expert knowledge on emergency preparedness equipment, maintenance, repair, programming and training" -- to Senate offices; store emergency preparedness equipment and other inventory at their own premises; and work "during a declared emergency or crisis ... outside of normal business hours; while the normal operations of the Senate are disrupted; while Senate facilities are closed, or at alternative locations not designated."

The document does not, it says, commit the sergeant-at-arms to offer any contract for the services listed.