Acquisition Network: Internet website for Government–wide acquisition information. For more information, visit http://www.acqnet.gov
Acquisition: The process of obtaining services, supplies or construction through purchase, lease or grants. The process includes the establishment of needs, description of requirements, selection of method of procurement, selection of sources, solicitation of offers, award of contract, financing and contract administration.
Acquisition Plan (AP): The acquisition plan is an administrative tool in which agency program offices report their upcoming formal contract actions. It is designed to assist the program and procurement offices in planning effective and efficient accomplishments of an assigned procurement.
Addendum: An addition or supplement to a document, for example, items or information added to a procurement document or proposal. Considered the same as an appendix.
Administrative Change: A unilateral contract change (in writing) that does not affect the significant rights of the parties.
Advance: Future bid opportunities not yet publicly available, from public meetings, purchasing patterns and budget reviews.
Affiliates: Business concerns, organizations or individuals that control each other or that are controlled by a third party. Control may include shared management or ownership, common use of facilities, equipment and employees, or family interest.
Agency: Any executive department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation or other establishment in the executive branch of the government.
Anti–Deficiency Act: Prohibits authorizing or incurring expenditures or obligations in excess of amounts appropriated by the Congress and apportioned by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Appendix: An addition or supplement to a document, for example, items or information added to a procurement document or proposal. Considered the same as an addendum.
Assistance: A relationship between a federal agency and contractor/recipient, the principal purpose of which is the transfer of money, property, services or anything of value to a contractor/recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by federal statute rather than of acquisition by purchase or lease of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the Federal government.
Award: The presentation (after careful consideration) of a purchase agreement or contract to the selected bidder or offeror.
Bid Averaging Method (BAM): The contractor with a bid closest to the average of all the bids is awarded the contract.
Best and Final Offer (BAFO): For negotiated procurements, a contractor’s final offer following the conclusion of all discussions.
Bid: An offer submitted by a prospective vendor in response to an invitation for bid (IFB) issued by a purchasing authority. A bid becomes a contract upon acceptance by the buyer.
Bidder: One who submits a response to an invitation for bid (IFB).
Bid bond: An insurance agreement, accompanied by a monetary commitment, by which a third party (the surety) accepts liability and guarantees that the bidder will not withdraw the bid. The bidder will furnish bonds as required, and if the contract is awarded to the bonded (insured) bidder, the bidder will accept the contract as bid, or else the surety will pay a specific amount. Also known as a bid guarantee.
Bid Database: A list of data relating to bids, usually including title, location, timeframe, dates and contact information.
Bid evaluation: Analysis of the provisions of a bid or offer, usually for the purpose of comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the bids received based on the requirements and criteria set forth in the invitation for bids (IFB).
Bid Notice: Information and updates related to a current bid. May include special updates, notice of meetings or additional requirements or other data.
Bidding Notification: Communication sent to potential vendors that relates to a current open bid. Often includes additional information or details related to the bid.
Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA): An agreement between the Government and a supplier allowing repetitive purchases during a specified period.
Blanket Order (or Standing Order): A contract under which a contractor or vendor agrees to provide goods or services to a purchaser on a demand basis. The contract generally establishes prices, terms, conditions and the period covered, although no quantities are specified. Shipments are to be made when and as required by the purchaser. Also known as a blanket agreement, blanket purchase or standing order.
Block Grants: Formula funds that are not allocated to a specific category and are more flexibly distributed. The grant seeker applies directly to a state for these funds, and the state sets up procedures for their disbursement.
Boilerplate Materials: A mass–produced proposal or one that is copied from another proposal or grant. While boilerplates can save you time, it is always recommended that you customize your proposal in the end.
Bonus: A monetary incentive placed on a specific milestone within a contract for the expressed purpose of completing that element within the prescribed time.
Brand Name Description: A purchase description that identifies a product by its brand name and model or part number, or other appropriate terminology by which the product is offered for sale.
Budgeting: The process of translating approved expenditures into funding allocations for a specified period of time.
Business Information Centers (BICs): One–stop locations for information, education and training designed to help entrepreneurs start, operate and grow their businesses. The centers provide free on–site counseling, training courses and workshops, and have resources for addressing a broad variety of business startup and development issues. One example includes the Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse. URL: http://sbdcnet.org/index.php
Buyer: A purchaser in a buying agency or government, or a worker in a procurement office who is appointed to purchase a specific range of goods or services on a routine basis, usually under the supervision of a section head or purchasing manager.
Call for Tenders: A call for bids.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number (CFDA number): This identifies a particular federal grant. The CFDA is the encyclopedia of all funding programs–the way all grants are catalogued.
Central Contract Registration (CCR): The federal entity with which vendors can register to do business with the Federal government. This online resource is located at www.ccr.gov.
Certificate of Competency: A certificate issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) stating that the holder is “responsible” (in terms of capability, competency, capacity, credit, integrity, perseverance and tenacity) for the purpose of receiving and performing a specific government contract.
Certified 8(a) Firm: A firm owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and eligible to receive federal contracts under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program. For more information, go to http://www.sba.gov/
Change Order: A written order to the contractor detailing changes to the specified work quantities or modifications in the scope of the original contract.
Clarification: A communication with an offeror for the sole purpose of eliminating minor irregularities or apparent clerical mistakes in a proposal. It may be initiated by either the offeror or the purchaser. It does not give the offeror an opportunity to revise or modify its proposal, except to the extent the correction of apparent clerical mistakes results in revision.
Commercial Item: Any supply or service, other than real property, that is customarily used for non–Government purposes and that has been sold, leased or licensed to the general public.
Commercial Market Representation: A Small Business Administration representative who reviews and rates the small business, small disadvantaged business and women–owned business subcontracting programs of major prime contractors and makes recommendations for improvement. For more information, go to http://www.sba.gov/
Commitment: The reserving of funds for obligation at the time the contract is signed by an agency’s warranted Contracting Officer.
Competition: A procurement strategy where more than one contractor that is capable of performing the contract is solicited to submit an offer for supplies and services. The successful offeror is selected on the basis of criteria established by the agency’s contracting office and the program offices for which the work is to be performed.
Competition Advocate: Senior official appointed to promote full and open competition in the acquisition of supplies and services by the agency.
Competitive Sealed Bidding: This is the preferred method for acquiring goods, services and construction for public use in which award is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, based solely on the response to the criteria set forth in the IFB (Invitation for Bid). Also called formal bid or formal advertised bid.
Consulting Services: Services of an advisory nature to support a company or policy development, decision–making, administration or management of the government. Consulting services are normally provided by persons and/or organizations considered to have special skills not generally available at all companies or within the government.
- A legally binding promise, enforceable by law.
- An agreement between parties, with binding legal and moral force, usually exchanging goods or services for money or other consideration.
- All types of agreements, regardless of what they may be called, for the procurement or disposal of supplies, services or construction.
- An agreement between a contracting authority and a person or business unit to provide goods, services, or to lease real property for appropriate consideration.
Contract Action: An action resulting in a contract, a modification to a contract or a delivery order placed against an indefinite delivery–indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract.
Contract Administration: All the activities associated with the oversight of the contractor’s performance of a contract, from awards to closeout.
Contract Award: Occurs when the contracting officer has signed and distributed the contract to (or notified) the contractor.
Contract Quality Requirements: The technical requirements in the contract relating to the quality of the supply or service, and those contract clauses prescribing inspection and other quality controls that are binding to the contractor to assure that the supply or service conforms to the contractual requirements.
Contract Requirements: In addition to specified performance requirements, contract requirements include those defined in the statement of work, such as specifications, standards and related documents, management systems and contract terms and conditions.
Contracting: Involves purchasing, renting, leasing or otherwise obtaining supplies or services from non–federal sources. Contracting includes a description of the supplies and services required, solicitation and selection of sources, preparation and award of contracts, and all phases of contract administration. Contracting does not include making grants or cooperative agreements.
Contracting Activity: An element of an agency designated by the agency head and delegated broad authority as it relates to acquisition functions.
Contracting Office: The office authorized by an agency’s Senior Procurement Executive that awards or executes a contract for services or supplies.
Contracting Officer: A person with delegated written authority, by an agency’s Senior Procurement Executive or designee, to enter into, administer and/or terminate contracts and assistance agreements and make related finding and determinations.
Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) or Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR): Individuals identified by program offices that are designated and authorized by the contracting officer to perform contract administration functions on his/her behalf. COR/COTR functions are limited to those specifically designated in writing by the contracting officer.
Contractor: An entity in private industry that enters into contracts with a company or an agency to provide supplies or services.
Contractor Team Arrangement: An arrangement in which (a) two or more companies form a partnership or joint venture to act as potential prime contractor; or (b) an agreement by a prospective prime contractor with one or more other companies to have them act as its subcontractors under a specified government contract or acquisition program.
Cooperative Agreement: An assistance instrument utilized when substantial involvement is anticipated between the Federal government and the State or local government or other recipient during performance of the contemplated activity.
Cost Analyses: The review and evaluation of the separate cost elements and proposed profit of a contractor’s cost or pricing data. The cost analysis always includes price analysis.
Cost or Pricing Data:
Factual and verifiable data that includes:
- direct costs
- indirect costs
- profit or fee
- vendor quotations
- information on changes in production methods and in production or purchasing volume
- information on management decisions that may have a significant bearing on costs
Cost Reimbursement Contracts:
Contracts based on payment by an agency to a contractor of allowable, reasonable and allocable costs incurred in the contract performance to the extent prescribed in the contract. These contracts may not require completion of the contract work, but rather the best efforts of the contractor. These types of cost reimbursement contracts include:
- cost sharing
- cost–plus–fixed–fee (CPFF)
- cost–plus incentive fee (CPIF)
- cost–plus–award fee (CPAF) contracts
Cradle–to–Grave: This refers to all stages of procurement, from beginning to end.
Current Year: The fiscal year in progress. Also called the execution year.
Debarment: The exclusion of a person or company from participating in a procurement activity for an extended period of time as specified by law, because of a previous irresponsible or illegal action.
Defective Pricing: Inaccurate cost/pricing data, to include delivery orders placed against Federal Supply Schedules (FSS), certified by a contractor to be accurate, current and complete.
Defense Acquisition Regulatory Council (DARC): A group composed of representatives from every military department, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and that is in charge of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) on a joint basis with the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC).
Defense Contractor: Any person who enters into a contract with the United States for the production of material or for the performance of services for the national defense.
Deliverable: A report or product that must be delivered to a company or the government by the contractor to satisfy contractual requirements.
Dependability: A measure of the degree to which an item is operable and capable of performing its required function throughout the lifespan of the contract.
Direct Cost: Any cost specifically identified as a final cost objective for a particular contract action. This includes cost factors such as materials and direct labor.
Direct Labor: Labor required to complete a product or service. This includes fabrication, assembly, inspection and tests for constructing an end product. This also includes labor expended by contractor personnel in performing contractual requirements.
Direct Materials: Includes raw materials, purchased parts and subcontracted items that are required to manufacture and assemble completed products. A direct material cost is the cost of material used in making a product.
Department of Defense (DOD): This United States federal agency deals with the armed forces and the military. The Department of Defense has specialized purchasing requirements in many cases.
Disbursements: In budgetary usage, gross disbursements represent the amount of checks, cash or other payments issued, less refunds received.
Disincentive: Monies subtracted from the contractor for completing the project later than the time allowed in the contract, or other performance–related penalty.
Discretionary Grants: Competitive grants applied for directly to the Federal Government.
E–Application: Electronic grant application system. Most federal grants can now be applied for online.
Education Department General Administration Regulations (EDGAR): The regulations provide criteria and instruction on grant applications.
Effective Competition: A market condition which exists when two or more contractors, acting independently, actively compete for an agency’s business in a manner which ensures that the agency will be offered the lowest price possible or best technical design to meet its minimum needs.
Electronic Commerce (EC): Electronic techniques for accomplishing business transactions, including electronic mail or messaging, Web technology, electronic bulletin boards, purchase cards, electronic funds transfer and electronic data interchange.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): A technique for electronically transferring and storing formatted information between computers, utilizing established and published formats and codes as authorized by the applicable Federal Information Processing Standards.
Emergency purchase: A purchase made to alleviate a situation in which there is a threat to health, welfare or safety under unique conditions defined as an emergency by the jurisdiction, that does not allow time for normal, competitive purchasing procedures.
Emerging Small Business: A small business concern whose size is no greater than 50 percent of the numerical size standard applicable to the Standard Industrial Classification code assigned to a contracting opportunity.
Equity: An accounting term used to describe the net investment of owners or stockholders in a business. In an accounting equation, equity also represents the result of assets less liabilities.
Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC): A federally funded research site that provides information on current educational issues–used by many grant seekers. URL: www.eric.ed.gov.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): Legislation that authorizes most education grants. This was reauthorized in 2002 as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Legislation.
Escalation: Determination of price adjustments based on increases or decreases to indexes specifically identified in the contract.
Evaluation Criteria: The standards used to evaluate an offeror’s technical and/or operational effectiveness.
Expenditure: A charge against available funds, as evidenced by a claim or voucher. Expenditure represents the actual payment of funds.
Facilities Contract: Provides for the procurement, construction and installation of facilities, or the use, maintenance, management, accountability or disposition of facilities.
Fair and Reasonable Price: A price that is fair to both parties, considering the agreed–upon conditions, promised quality and timeliness of contract performance. “Fair and reasonable” price is subject to statutory and regulatory limitations.
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): The primary regulation used by all federal agencies in their acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds. It is issued within applicable laws under the joint authorities of the Administrator of General Services, the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, under the broad policy guidelines of the Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget.
Federal Information Processing (FIP): A machine or a group of inter–connected machines, consisting of input, storage, computing, control and output services. These services function by using electronic circuitry in the main computing element to perform logical operations automatically through internally stored or externally controlled programmed instruction.
Federal Solicitation: A request for proposals, bids or information by the United States federal government.
Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Program: A simplified process for procuring commonly used services or supplies by placing delivery orders against Federal Supply Schedule contracts, which have been awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA) for use by all agencies.
FIP Resources: A comprehensive term referring to all computer–related resources, including computer hardware, firmware, software, documentation, personnel, supplies, services and support services.
Fixed–Price Contract: Contracts that provide for a firm price or, in appropriate cases, an adjustable price. Fixed price contracts providing for an adjustable price may include a ceiling price, a target price (including target cost) or both. Unless otherwise specified in the contract, the ceiling price or the target price is subject to adjustment only by operation of contract clauses providing for equitable adjustment or other revision of the contract price under stated circumstances. The contracting officer must use firm–fixed price or fixed–price with economic price adjustment contracts when acquiring commercial items.
Formal bid: A bid that must be submitted in a sealed envelope and in conformance with a set format to be opened in public at a specified time.
Formula Grants: These grants are awarded to eligible entities through allocation based on the program’s authorizing legislation; block grants or categorical. Formula grants are sent directly to the states, which disburse monies according to the formula.
Federal Register (FR): Public notice of all grants appears on site once they are approved by Congress. For more information, visit: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html
Fraud: Acts of fraud or corruption or attempts to defraud an agency or to corrupt its agents. Acts that constitute a cause for debarment or suspension under federal law or regulation.
Freight on Board/FOB Destination: Title changes hands from vendor to purchaser at the destination of the shipment; vendor owns goods in transit and files any claims. Payment of freight charges is determined within the contract terms.
Freight on Board/FOB Origin: Title changes hands from vendor to purchaser at the origin of the shipment; purchaser owns goods in transit and files any claims. Payment of freight charges is determined within the contract terms.
Full and Open Competition: As it relates to a contract action, “full and open” competition means that all responsible sources are permitted to compete.
Full and Open Competition After Exclusion of Sources: All responsible sources that meet certain criteria, including business size or location in a labor surplus area, are permitted to compete. Such competitions are specifically authorized by the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA).
Government Property: Equipment and facilities furnished by the government to a contractor or recipient, or acquired by a contractor or recipient, at the government’s expense for use during the performance of a contract or assistance agreement.
Government–wide Commercial Purchase Card: A purchase card, similar in nature to a commercial credit card, issued to authorized agency personnel to use to purchase supplies and services.
Grant: An assistance instrument used when there is little Federal Government involvement anticipated in the performance by the recipient.
Grants Officer: A contracting officer who awards grants, thus contractually obligating the government.
Grant Project: The proposed plan for which grant funds are being requested. Projects may include instructional materials and must adhere to the criteria outlined by the grant.
Grants Seeker: Person, school, district etc., who is applying for the grant.
Grantee: Person, school, district etc., who receives the grant.
Grantor or Grant Maker: Agency or organization that is providing the grant.
Indemnify: To protect against hurt or loss. To exempt from incurred penalties or liabilities.
Improper Influence: An influence that induces or tends to induce an employee to consider awarding a contract or purchase on any basis other than its merit.
Independent contractor: A worker hired by a business or jurisdiction to accomplish a given result who has the right to control or direct his or her own work as to the details and means by which the desired results are achieved.
Independent Verifications and Validation Contract (IVV): Contracts through which testing and validation or developed software is accomplished by someone other than the developer.
Industry: All concerns primarily engaged in similar lines of activity, as listed and defined in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For more information, go to: http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html
Information Technology: Any equipment used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission or reception of data or information. Includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services and related resources.
Interested Party: A prime contractor or an actual or perspective offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of a contract or by the failure to award a contract.
Invitation For Bids (IFB):
The IFB is usually the preferred method for acquiring goods and nonprofessional services for public use. The IFB will contain specifications or scope of work/purchase description and the contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement. Submitted bids are evaluated based upon the requirements set forth in the invitation, and an award is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.
Joint Venture: A partnership or conglomerate, formed often to share risk or expertise.
Kickback: Any money, fee, commission, credit, gift, gratuity, thing of value or compensation of any kind which is provided, directly or indirectly, to agency procurement or program officials by any prime contractor employee, subcontractor or subcontractor employee for the purpose of improperly obtaining or receiving favorable treatment in connection with obtaining a contract.
Late bid or proposal: A bid, proposal, withdrawal or modification received after the established due date and time.
Life Cycle Cost: The total cost to any company or agency for recurring, operating, supporting and disposing of the items being acquired over the life of the contract.
Local Educational Agency (LEA): The district education department that applies for and oversees the grant
Market Survey: An attempt to determine the availability of qualified sources capable of satisfying a company’s or agency’s procurement requirements. This testing of the marketplace may range from written or telephone contacts with knowledgeable federal and non–federal experts regarding similar or duplicate requirements, and the results of any market test recently undertaken, to the more formal sources–sought announcements in pertinent publications or solicitations for information of planning purposes.
Mentor: A business, usually large, or other organization that has created a specialized program to advance strategic relationships with small businesses.
Municipal Contracts: Contracts with a city, village, town parish or related local government.
Negotiation: Contracting through the use of either competitive or other–than–competitive proposals and discussions. Any contract awarded without using sealed bidding procedures is a negotiated contract.
Non–responsive bid: A bid from a vendor who does not conform to the mandatory or essential requirements of the invitation for bid.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS): The NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes. NAICS is an industry classification system used by the statistical agencies of the United States for classifying business establishments. NAICS includes 1,170 industries of which 565 are service–based industries. For more information, go to: http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA): Information regarding the program’s purpose, eligibility requirements, application deadline, award amounts, etc.
Notification list: A compilation of vendors who have requested official notification from a company, agency or governmental entity of bid changes and awards.
Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA): One of six agencies under which grants are organized and authorized.
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE): One of six agencies under which grants are organized and authorized
Offer: A response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to fulfill the resulting contract. Responses to invitations for bids (IFB) are called bids or sealed bids; responses to requests for proposals (RFP) are referred to as offers or proposals; responses to requests for quotations (RFQ) are designated as quotes.
Offeror: 1. One who submits a proposal in response to an RFP in competitive negotiation. 2. One who makes an offer in response to a solicitation.
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU): They work to 1) ensure that small and disadvantaged business policies and goals of the Secretary of Transportation are developed and implemented in a fair, efficient and effective manner to serve small and disadvantaged businesses throughout DOT and the country, 2) implement DOT’s activities on behalf of small businesses, businesses owned and controlled by disadvantaged persons and firms, in accordance with Section 8, 15 and 31 of the Small Business Act (SBA), as amended, and 3) provide opportunities, technical assistance, and financial services to the small and disadvantaged business community.
One–Stop Capital Shops: OSCSs are the SBA’s contribution to the Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities Program, an interagency initiative that provides resources to economically distressed communities. The shops provide a full range of SBA lending and technical assistance programs.
Option: A clause contained in a contract which gives an agency the unilateral right to extend the term of the contract or obtain additional quantities of products or services at the prices contained in the contract for that option period or additional quantity of products or services.
Organizational Conflict of Interest: Activities or relationships with other persons that interfere with a contractor or contractor employee rendering impartial assistance or advice to an agency.
OSERS�Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services: One of six agencies under which grants are organized and authorized.
Parties Excluded from Procurement Programs: Contractors included on the “Consolidated List of Debarred, Suspended and Ineligible Contractors.” This list is compiled, maintained and distributed by the General Services Administration (GSA).
Partnering: A mutually beneficial business–to–business relationship based on trust and commitment that enhances the capabilities of both parties.
Payment bond: A bond that assures payments, as required by law, to all persons supplying labor or material for the completion of work under the contract. Also known as labor and material bond.
Payment terms: The terms applicable to the payment, including any discount.
Performance bond: A bond, executed subsequent to award by a successful bidder, to protect the buyer from loss due to the bidder’s inability to complete the contract as agreed. It secures the fulfillment of all contract requirements.
Pre–Award Survey: An evaluation of a prospective contractor’s capability to perform a proposed contract. Site visits to contractor facilities are often conducted to determine qualifications and eligibility to receive awards.
Prebids: Information relating to bids, including conferences, available plans or specifications and other pertinent details.
Pre–bid Conference: A meeting held with prospective bidders or offerors prior to solicitation of bids, to clarify any ambiguities, answer any bidder questions and ensure all bidders have a common basis of understanding regarding the supplies or services required.
Pre–proposal Conference: Same as a Pre–Bid conference, but for competitive proposals.
Price Analysis: The process of examining and evaluating a proposed price by comparing it with other offered prices, including prices previously paid for similar goods or services.
Prime Contract: A contract entered into by an agency for the purpose of obtaining supplies, materials, equipment, or services of any kind.
Prime Contractor: A corporation, partnership, business association, trust, joint–stock company, educational institution or other non–profit organization, or individual who has entered into a prime contract with an agency.
Private Bids: Specific types of bids, often defined by statute or regulations that are outside the realm of the public bidding process.
Private Sector Grants and Funding: Foundation and corporate grants that allocate funds to strengthen education. They are easier to obtain than federal and state grants and they often have community–based interests.
Procurement: The corporate or government purchasing process, where contracts are secured through a competitive bidding process. E–procurement is generally considered the electronic and internet–based version of this.
Procurement Activity: The organization within an agency authorized to enter into contractual relationships.
Procurement Automated Source System (PASS): A database managed by the Small Business Administration that contains information on over 230,000 small businesses. PASS must be queried and reviewed by agency personnel to locate potential contractors. Not all small businesses are in the PASS database, but it does represent a good sampling of the availability of business in a particular industry. One of the primary reasons for the PASS search is that if any sources are found, the results are included in the “Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition” (JOFOC).
Procurement Center Representative (PCR): Small Business Administration (SBA) representatives assigned to federal agencies to assist in conducting their small business programs by recommending sources and the use of appropriate set–asides. PCRs have the authority to challenge a contracting officer’s decision not to conduct a particular procurement as a set–aside; they also review and make recommendations on proposed subcontracting plans.
An officer, an employee, a member of the uniformed services, or a special Government employee, who participates personally and substantially in any of the following activities directly related to that procurement:
- Drafting, reviewing, or approving the specification or statement of work for the procurement
- Preparing or developing the solicitation
- Evaluating bids or proposals or selecting a source
- Negotiating price or terms and conditions of the contract
- Reviewing and approving the award of the contract
Pro–forma invoice: An invoice received before the purchase informing the buyer of the terms of sale. Primarily applicable to foreign purchases as the buyer’s proof of a future purchase in order to support the buyer’s request to governmental authorities for import permits and foreign exchange.
Progress payments: Payments made in advance of full delivery as specified percentages of the total purchase are delivered, or certain stages of work performance are achieved.
Protest: A written objection by an interested party to an Invitation for Bid or Request for Proposal solicitation or to a proposed award or award of contract, with the intention of receiving a remedial result.
Public bid opening: The process of opening and reading bids at the time and place specified in the IFB and in the presence of anyone who wishes to attend.
Public Tenders: Public (government) bids.
Purchase description: The words used in a solicitation to describe the supplies, services or construction to be purchased; includes specifications that are attached to or made part of the solicitation.
Purchase Order (PO): A purchaser’s written document to a vendor formalizing all the terms and conditions of a proposed transaction, including a description of the requested item(s), delivery schedule, terms of payment and transportation.
Purchase Request (PR): A document used to initiate a procurement action. Whether referred to as a PR, requisition or procurement directive. This document provides the necessary authorization to proceed with a procurement.
Purchase Requisition (Req or Requisition): A request to obtain material or services and authority to commit funds to cover the purchase.
Qualified Producers List (QPL): A list of vendors who have been qualified in advance of a solicitation to provide certain products or services.
Quotation: A statement of price, terms of sale and description of goods or services offered by a vendor to a prospective purchaser. A quotation may be non–binding if solicited to obtain market information for planning purposes.
Quote: The response to a request for quotation.
Ratification: The process used by an agency’s contracting officers to approve and legitimize an otherwise proper contract made by an individual who doesn’t have contracting authority.
Receiving report: Form listing items or services received from a vendor. A receiving report is used to match a purchase order, vendors’ invoices and payment vouchers before payment is made. Some receiving reports can be made electronically.
Replicability: When federal and state grantors want to ensure that a project can be replicated in other places. It’s a project requirement for most demonstration grants.
Request for Application (RFA): A call for grant applications–a simpler format than an RFP.
Request for Proposal (RFP): A process where a company, agency or government can seek a specific proposal from vendors. Follows a specifications process and formalized set of standards and procedures. An RFP generally seeks less vendor input than a Request for Information (RFI) but more than a Request for Quote (RFQ).
Request for Information (RFI): A process where a company, agency or government can seek vendor input on a proposed product, process, or product. Allows for more general information and consideration, rather than asking for a more specific proposal or an actual price quote for a specified product or service.
Request for Quote (RFQ): An informal solicitation or request for information, where oral or written quotes are obtained from vendors, without formal advertising or receipt of sealed bids. An RFQ is used only where company or government guidelines or statutes do not require formal sealed bids. This is often the case with small or emergency purchases, but price competition is desired.
SCORE: The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a 12,400–member volunteer association sponsored by the SBA. SCORE matches volunteer business–management counselors with prospective small business owners in need of expert advice on things such as business plans, proposals, etc. For more information, visit: http://www.score.org/
Sealed bid: A bid submitted in response to an invitation for bid (IFB). The bid is submitted in a sealed envelope to prevent its contents from being revealed prior to the deadline for the submission of all bids.
State Education Agency (SEA): The state education department that applies for and oversees the grant
Senior Procurement Executive: The Senior Procurement Executive for a company or agency is responsible for managing its procurement activities.
Service: A vendor’s ability to comply with promised delivery dates, specifications and technical assistance.
Service contract: An agreement calling for a contractor’s time and effort rather than for a physical product.
Services: Work performed to meet a demand, especially work not connected with a manufacturing process. The furnishing of labor, time or effort by a contractor or a vendor.
Settlement Agreement: A written agreement, in the form of a modification to a contract, settling all or a severable portion of a settlement proposal resulting from termination of a contract for the convenience of the company or agency.
Small Business: As defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration, a small business concern is “one that is independently owned and operated and which is not dominant in its field of operation.” The law also states that in determining what constitutes a small business, the definition will vary from industry to industry to reflect industry differences accurately. For more information, click here.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC): Small Business Development Centers offer a wide array of business information and guidance, as well as assistance in preparing loan applications.
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Contract:
A type of contract designed to foster technological innovation by small businesses with 500 employees or less. The SBIR contract program provides for a three–phased approach to research and development projects:
- technological feasibility and concept development
- the primary research effort
- the conversion of the technology to a commercial application
Small Disadvantaged Business Concern: A small business concern that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. This can include a publicly owned business that has at least 51 percent of its stock unconditionally owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and whose management and daily business is controlled by one or more such individuals.
Small purchase: Any procurement that does’t exceed a given upper monetary limit, as established by law or regulation.
Sole Source Procurement: A contract for the purchase of supplies or services that is entered into by a company or agency after soliciting and negotiating with only one source. Such a procurement must be fully justified to indicate the reason why competition is not possible.
Solicitation: A formal document that elicits proposals for acquisition or financial assistance awards. Solicitation instruments include Invitations for Bid, Requests for Proposals and Requests for Quotation.
Source Selection Plan: The document that explains how proposals from offerors will be evaluated. The source selection plan includes the evaluation factors to be used, relative weight of the factors and the methodology to be used by evaluators when analyzing and ranking proposals.
Specification: A description of the physical or functional characteristics, or of the nature of a supply, services or construction item; the requirements to be satisfied by a product, material, or process indicating, if appropriate, the procedures to determine whether the requirements are satisfied.
Single State Point of Contact (SSPOC): State contact that district is required to use when applying for certain federal grants.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code: A code representing a category within the Standard Industrial Classification System administered by the Statistical Policy Division of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The system was established to classify all industries in the US economy. A two–digit code designates each major industry group, which is coupled with a second two–digit code representing subcategories. For more information, go to: http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html
Standards: Technical requirements for processes, procedures, practices and methods that have been adopted as standard.
State Tenders: State bidding.
Stipend: The fee paid to unsuccessful firms for development of a responsive proposal.
Subcontract: A contract between a prime contractor and another source to obtain outside supplies for services that prime contractor needs to perform the contract requirements. Subcontracts include any agreement, other than an employer–employee relationship, which a prime contractor enters into for the purpose of fulfilling a government contract.
Subcontracting Plan: A written plan, submitted by a prime contractor and approved by a contracting officer, which describes goals and actions the contractor plans to take to utilize small and disadvantaged businesses to the maximum practicable extent in performing the contract.
Sub grants: Formula or competitive grants made from a larger grant.
Supplier: The person or business unit actually performing services, or manufacturing, producing or shipping supplies required by the contract.
Task order: An order for services placed against an established contract, or with Government sources.
Technical Direction: The direction or guidance of the scientific, engineering and other technical aspects of a project, as distinguished from the administrative and business management aspects.
Tender: A bid or offer to provide a good or service to government at a specified price.
Term Contract: A contract in which a source of supply is established for a specified period of time for specified services or supplies. A term contract is usually characterized by an estimated or definite minimum quantity, with the possibility of additional requirements beyond the minimum, all at a predetermined unit price.
Termination for convenience: Action by which the purchasing entity, in accordance with contract provisions, unilaterally cancels all or part of the contract work for the best interest of the jurisdiction, and with no reflection on the contractor’s performance.
Termination for default: An action by which the purchasing entity, in accordance with contract provisions, unilaterally cancels all or part of the contract work due to the contractor’s failure to perform in accordance with the terms of the contract.
Terms and Conditions: All language in a contract, including applicable standard clauses and special provisions; the rules under which all bids must be submitted, and the stipulations, applicable to most contracts, often published by purchasing authorities for the information of all potential bidders.
Trade Discount: A discount or reduction from a list price based on the position of the purchaser in the distribution channel. This discount may vary depending on whether the purchaser is a distributor, retailer or original equipment manufacturer.
Unauthorized Commitment: The placing of an order, orally or in writing, for supplies or services by a company or agency employee who does not have a contracting officer warrant authorizing them to enter into a contract on the behalf of the company or agency. Unauthorized commitments also include orders placed by contracting officers who exceed their authorized dollar limit.
Unsettled Contract Change: Any pending contract change or contract term for which a modification is required.
Unsolicited Proposal: A written proposal that is submitted to a company or agency by an outside source offering to perform a company’s or agency’s work more effectively or efficiently. The unsolicited proposal shall not be in response to a formal or informal request, unless it is an agency request constituting a publicized general statement of need.
Value Engineering: An organized effort to analyze the functions of systems, equipment, facilities, services and supplies for the purpose of achieving the essential functions at the lowest life–cycle cost consistent with required performance, reliability, quality and safety.
Vendor: One who sells goods or services. Also known as a supplier.
Women–Owned Small Business: Companies that meet the definition of a small business (defined in this glossary), and are at least 51% owned by a woman or women who are U.S. citizens and who also control and operate the business. The preferred terminology for these businesses is Women Business Enterprises (WBEs).