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Procurement Glossary Terms
Acceptance of Goods and Services:Acceptance constitutes a determination by an authorized government official that goods or services conforming to the requirements of a contract have been furnished by a contractor and that a contractor is entitled to payment under the contract. With respect to goods, acceptance is deemed to occur if, after a reasonable opportunity to inspect the goods, an effective rejection is not made within a commercially reasonable time. Acceptance of goods may be revoked where: there is an acceptance on a reasonable assumption that a non-conformity would be cured and it is not later timely cured; or acceptance has taken place without discovery of a non-conformity where the acceptance was induced either by the difficulty of discovery before acceptance of the non-conformity or by the contractor's assurances with respect to conformity of the goods. Revocation of acceptance must occur within a reasonable time after the government official discovers or should have discovered the grounds for it.
Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO):If the contract is particularly large, an ACO may be assigned to administer the contract and ensure that the contractor is fulfilling the contract under the specified terms, including price, schedule, and quality.
Award:The release of a fully executed contract to an offeror. This release may be accomplished by a contracting officer by depositing the contract in the mail, with a common carrier, delivering it to the offeror, or notifying the contractor by phone, telegram or other means which communicates acceptance of offer by the purchaser.
Best Value:A result intended in the acquisition of all goods and services. Price must be one of the evaluation criteria when acquiring goods and services. Other evaluation criteria may include, but are not limited to environmental considerations, quality, and vendor performance.
Bid:An offer to furnish goods, services, or construction in conformity with the specifications, delivery terms and conditions, and other requirements included in the invitation for bids; an offer to purchase.
Bidder’s List:A current file of vendors and other sources of supply for various categories of goods, services, or construction purchased.
Competition:The process by which more than one valid source of supply for goods, services, or construction is solicited through the submission of offers which are to be evaluated in a comparative way for the purpose of selection of the source or sources most advantageous to the needs of the purchaser.
Contract:Any type of documented agreement or order for the procurement or disposal of goods, services, construction or any other item which is binding on the contractor and the purchaser. Unless specifically prohibited, contract types include: fixed-price, cost, cost-plus-a-fixed-fee, cost reimbursement or incentive; contracts may provide for the issuance of job orders, task orders, or task letters; contracts also include letter contracts, grants, purchase orders and contract modifications. All contracts must be in writing unless otherwise authorized by these regulations. A contract must include mandatory clauses.
Contract Modification:Any documented alteration in the specification, delivery, contract period, price, quantity, or other contract provisions of any existing contract, whether accomplished by unilateral action in accordance with a contract provision (change order), or by mutual action of the parties to the contract (contract amendment). It also includes administrative changes, notices of termination, field orders, and notices of exercise of a contract option and contract extensions. Unless expressly authorized by contract and these regulations, a contract modification must be written if the contract to be modified is written.
Contracting Officer (CO):The CO is the person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate a contract and make related determinations and findings. The CO ensures that the contractor is fulfilling the contract under the specified terms, including price, schedule, and quality.
Contracting Officer Representative (COR):The Contracting Officer may appoint a COR to oversee and manage the project. The COR is the administrative liaison between the contractor and the Contracting Officer.
Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR):The Contracting Officer may appoint a COTR to oversee and manage the project. The COTR is the technical liaison between the contractor and the Contracting Officer.
Contractor:Any individual or organization doing business with the purchaser whether for services, construction or for the sale of goods or services pursuant to a contract.
Cooperative Research and Development Agreement:A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a legal agreement between a federal laboratory and a nonfederal party to conduct specified research or development efforts that are consistent with the missions of the federal laboratory. The primary purpose of a CRADA is to encourage the transfer of commercially useful technologies from federal laboratories to the private sector and to make accessible unique capabilities and facilities.
Delivery Order:A document or other action which initiates a delivery of goods, services, or construction authorized by a contracting officer or authorized government official, under an existing contract which establishes terms, price and source of supply.
End User:End users are the front-line people in the government. They generally know what their requirements and specifications are for a particular product, and communicate these requirements to official buyers. End users may even express a preference for a particular model or brand or vendor. In micro purchases, the end user may actually be the buyer.
Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP):A product or service that has a lesser or reduced impact on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. Such products or services may include, but are not limited to those which contain recycled content, minimize waste, conserve energy or water, and reduce the amount of toxics either disposed of or consumed.
Fixed Price Contract:A contract which provides for a firm price under which a contractor bears the full responsibility for profit or loss.
Grant:A Grant is an award by the Federal Government of financial assistance in the form of money or property to an eligible grantee to support programs which the government wishes to encourage. A government agency is authorized to award a grant to accomplish the objectives of a particular program.
Invitation for Bid(IFB):A formal solicitation in which competitive sealed bids are invited through a public notice procedure which requires that bids be received by a specified time and opened publicly. Invitations for Bids are evaluated solely in terms of bidder responsibility, bidder responsiveness, and price.
Large Purchases:Government purchases of at least $100,000 are generally obtained through negotiated procurements or formal advertising. Agencies use Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Sealed Bids to solicit offers from the private sector.
Multiple Award:The award of separate contracts to two or more offerors for the same commodities or services in situations where the award of a single contract would be impractical or would not meet the total purchaser requirements.
NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) Code [FORMERLY KNOWN AS SIC (STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION) CODE]:Classification of business established by type of activity for the purpose of facilitating the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of data collected by various agencies of the United States government, state agencies, trade associations, and private research organizations for promoting uniformity and comparability in the presentation of statistical data relating to those establishments and their fields of endeavor.
No Bid:A response to a solicitation for bids stating that respondent does not wish to submit an offer. It usually operates as a procedure consideration to prevent suspension from the vendors list for failure to submit a response.
Official Buyer:Official buyers work in purchasing or contracting offices, and tend to focus more on commodity-like products. When an end user advises the buyer of the need to purchase products or services, it's up to the buyer to make the purchase-generally from companies that have a record of successful past performance and can provide quality products and services. In Simplified Acquisitions, buyers typically rotate the companies they contact for a quote, generally contacting their last source as well as two other sources.
Pre-Bid/Pre-Proposal Conference:An optional meeting held with prospective offerors prior to submittal of bids or proposals in response to a solicitation to discuss matters germane to the solicitation.
Proposal:An offer binding on the offeror, in response to an RFP and a non-binding response to an REOI.
Protest:A timely complaint by an offeror in connection with a perceived irregularity or impropriety with a solicitation process or responses received to a solicitation and administrative action with respect to the responses. A protest must be filed, in writing, with the Director.
Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI):A solicitation to prospective offerors, the response to which is to be analyzed in accordance with selection criteria set forth in the solicitation. The REOI is used to develop a shortlist of prospective offerors who are eligible to receive a subsequent solicitation such as an RFP or an IFB. Requests for Expressions of Interest are generally made where specifications cannot be prepared or the availability of vendors for the goods, services, or construction involved is uncertain or unknown.
Request for Proposal (RFP):A RFP (Request for Proposal) is used in negotiated procurements to communicate requirements to prospective contractors and to solicit proposals for the products and services. The proposals are then evaluated according to various selection criteria, which may include many factors as well as price.
Request for Quote (RFQ):A RFQ (Request for Quote) is a solicitation document used to obtain price, delivery and other information from prospective contractors.
Sealed Bid:A Sealed Bid is used to request fixed-price bids for products or services.
Small Purchase:An informal solicitation of goods, construction or non-professional services valued below a certain threshold.
Solicitation:A solicitation is any request to submit offers or quotations to the government for the purpose of acquiring products and services. Once the government agency has acquisition authority, the agency prepares a solicitation that fully describes and specifies what it wants to purchase, the terms and conditions of the purchase, delivery schedules, and support needed for the product or service. It is generally during this preparation time that the government determines if this will be a sole source or an open competition acquisition.
Sole Source:A procurement in which goods, services, or construction necessary to meet minimum valid needs of the purchaser are available from only one person or firm, including those having the exclusive right to manufacture, sell or otherwise market certain goods or services.