Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/26/2016)

First Responder Access to Innovative Technologies Act

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to implement a uniform process for reviewing applications that contain explanations to use grants provided under the Urban Area Security Initiative or the State Homeland Security Grant Program to purchase equipment or systems that do not meet or exceed any applicable national voluntary consensus standards developed under the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006.

FEMA must consider:

  • current or past use of proposed equipment or systems by federal agencies or the Armed Forces;
  • the absence of a national voluntary consensus standard for such equipment or systems;
  • the existence of an international consensus standard for such equipment or systems and whether such equipment or systems meets such standard;
  • the nature of the capability gap identified by the applicant and how such equipment or systems will address such gap; and
  • the degree to which such equipment or systems will serve the needs of the applicant better than equipment or systems that meet or exceed existing consensus standards.

The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security shall submit to specified congressional committees a report assessing the implementation of such review process, including information on the number of requests to purchase equipment or systems that do not meet or exceed any applicable consensus standard, the capability gaps identified by applicants and the number of such requests granted or denied, and the processing time for the review of such requests.