Electronic Guide to NIH Acquisition


A to E F to J K to O P to T U to Z

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ACCEPTANCE   The acknowledgement that the items or services delivered conform to the terms and conditions of the order.
ACQUISITION   Acquiring by contract with appropriated funds of supplies or services (including construction) by and for the use of the Federal Government through purchase or lease, whether the supplies or services are already in existence or must be created, developed, demonstrated, and evaluated. Acquisition begins at the point when agency needs are established and includes the description of requirements to satisfy agency needs, solicitation and selection of sources, award of contracts, contract financing, contract performance, contract administration, and those technical and management functions directly related to the process of fulfilling agency needs by contract.
ACQUISITION FILE   Is the record of a particular acquisition transaction. It must contain the purchase request, a printout of the order, a signed and dated packing slip or delivery ticket completed by the Receiving Official, and any other notes or documents regarding the purchase.
ACQUISITION PLAN   The document requesting acquisition action and facilitating development of the request for proposal. This document completes the acquisition planning phase and begins the solicitation phase.
ACQUISITION PLANNING   The process by which the efforts of all personnel responsible for an acquisition are coordinated and integrated through a comprehensive plan for fulfilling the agency need in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost. It includes developing the overall strategy for managing the acquisition.
ACQUISITION PLANNING SCHEDULE   A time schedule planned jointly by the contract negotiator and project officer for accomplishing the major milestones in the placement of a contract. It is part of the acquisition plan.
ADEQUATE EVIDENCE   Information sufficient to support the reasonable belief that a particular act or omission has occurred.
ADVISORY AND ASSISTANCE SERVICES   Those services provided under contract by nongovernmental sources to support or improve: organizational policy development; decision-making; management and administration; program and/or project management and administration; or R&D activities. It can also mean the furnishing of professional advice or assistance rendered to improve the effectiveness of Federal management processes or procedures (including those of an engineering and technical nature). In rendering the foregoing services, outputs may take the form of information, advice, opinions, alternatives, analyses, evaluations, recommendations, training and the day-to-day aid of support personnel needed for the successful performance of ongoing Federal operations. All advisory and assistance services are classified in one of the following definitional subdivisions:
  1. Management and professional support services, i.e., contractual services that provide assistance, advice or training for the efficient and effective management and operation of organizations, activities (including management and support services for R&D activities), or systems. These services are normally closely related to the basic responsibilities and mission of the agency originating the requirement for the acquisition of services by contract. Included are efforts that support or contribute to improved organization of program management, logistics management, project monitoring and reporting, data collection, budgeting, accounting, performance auditing, and administrative technical support for conferences and training programs.
  2. Studies, analyses and evaluations, i.e., contracted services that provide organized, analytical assessments/evaluations in support of policy development, decision-making, management, or administration. Included are studies in support of R&D activities. Also included are acquisitions of models, methodologies, and related software supporting studies, analyses or evaluations.
  3. Engineering and technical services, i.e., contractual services used to support the program office during the acquisition cycle by providing such services as systems engineering and technical direction (see 9.505-1(b)) to ensure the effective operation and maintenance of a weapon system or major system as defined in OMB Circular No. A-109 or to provide direct support of a weapon system that is essential to research, development, production, operation or maintenance of the system.
AFFILIATES   Associated business concerns or individuals if, directly or indirectly-
  1. Either one controls or can control the other; or
  2. A third party controls or can control both.
AGENCY HEAD (or head of the agency)   The Secretary, Attorney General, Administrator, Governor, Chairperson, or other chief official of an executive agency, unless otherwise indicated, including any deputy or assistant chief official of an executive agency.
ALTERNATE   A substantive variation of a basic provision or clause prescribed for use in a defined circumstance. It adds wording to, deletes wording from, or substitutes specified wording for a portion of the basic provision or clause. The alternate version of a provision or clause is the basic provision or clause as changed by the addition, deletion, or substitution (see 52.105(a)).
ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS   An appropriation that is available for incurring obligations only during the single fiscal year specified in the appropriation act.
APPROVER   An individual in a Decentralized Office, typically an Administrative Officer, Administrative Assistant, or supervisory Purchasing Agent who is granted Delegated Acquisition Authority and NBS/Prism access to obligate appropriated funds. This individual approves orders created by a buyer for supplies, services, and equipment.
ARCHITECT-ENGINEER SERVICES   As defined in 40 U.S.C. 541, means-
  1. Professional services of an architectural or engineering nature, as defined by State law, if applicable, that are required to be performed or approved by a person licensed, registered, or certified to provide those services;
  2. Professional services of an architectural or engineering nature performed by contract that are associated with research, planning, development, design, construction, alteration, or repair of real property; and
  3. Those other professional services of an architectural or engineering nature, or incidental services, that members of the architectural and engineering professions (and individuals in their employ) may logically or justifiably perform, including studies, investigations, surveying and mapping, tests, evaluations, consultations, comprehensive planning, program management, conceptual designs, plans and specifications, value engineering, construction phase services, soils engineering, drawing reviews, preparation of operating and maintenance manuals, and other related services.
AUTOMATED CLEARING HOUSE (ACH)   All vendors awarded new orders for good and/or services must complete an ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form (SF-3881) which provides NIH with the necessary information to make payments electronically, such as the Taxpayer Identification Number and the designated financial institution t which the recipients payments will be sent.
AWARD   The provision of funds by NIH based on a solicitation and offer and a mutually binding agreement between the NIH and an organizational entity or individual to provide supplies or services.
BAFO   Vendor's "Best and Final Offer" to the government for the goods or services which are being procured. [NOTE: The term "BAFO" has been replaced by "Final Proposal Revision (FPR)".
BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT (BOA)   A general outline of the supplies or services to be provided by the contractor.
BASIC RESEARCH   That research directed toward increasing knowledge in science. The primary aim of basic research is a fuller knowledge or understanding of the subject under study, rather than any practical application of that knowledge.
BEST VALUE   The expected outcome of an acquisition that, in the Government’s estimation, provides the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement.
BID   An offer submitted in response to a formally advertised invitation for bids, to buy from or furnish supplies or services to the Government under certain prescribed conditions at a stated or determined price; or the act of submitting a bid.
BID BOARD   A local or electronic location on which the currently open solicitations are placed for public review by interested potential offerors, suppliers, or vendors.
BID OPENING DATE (BOD)   The final date that a bid must be received by the appropriate government office.
BIDDERS CONFERENCE   A mechanism by which the government and potential bidders exchange information relative to on-going or potential solicitations.
BLANKET PURCHASE AGREEMENT (BPA)   A simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing “charge accounts” with qualified sources of supply including Federal Supply Schedule and open market vendors. The BPA establishes no contractual obligation on either party to buy or sell. A BPA Call is the mechanism used to place orders and obligate funds.
BOARD OF AWARDS   The NIH Board of Contract Awards, which reviews proposed solicitations and contract awards and their documentation. See NIH Manual Chapter 6304-71.
BONA FIDE NEED   Appropriations are available only to fill a bona fide need which exists at the time the contract is executed. Without express statutory authority, no agency may obligate an appropriation made for needs of a limited period of time, such as a fiscal year, for the needs of subsequent years.
BPA Call   A mechanism used to place orders against Blanket Purchase Agreements processed through NBS.
BROAD AGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT (BAA)   A general announcement of an agency's research interest including criteria for selecting proposals and soliciting the participation of all offerors capable of satisfying the Government's needs (see 6.102(d)(2)).
BUNDLED CONTRACT   Means a contract where the requirements have been consolidated by bundling. (See the definition of bundling.)
  1. Consolidating two or more requirements for supplies or services, previously provided or performed under separate smaller contracts, into a solicitation for a single contract that is likely to be unsuitable for award to a small business concern due to-
    • The diversity, size, or specialized nature of the elements of the performance specified;
    • The aggregate dollar value of the anticipated award;
    • The geographical dispersion of the contract performance sites; or
    • Any combination of the factors described in paragraphs (1)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this definition.
  2. Separate smaller contract as used in this definition, means a contract that has been performed by one or more small business concerns or that was suitable for award to one or more small business concerns.
  3. This definition does not apply to a contract that will be awarded and performed entirely outside of the United States.
BUSINESS EVALUATION   Measuring a business proposal against the business requirements of the acquisition and rating the proposal accordingly
BUY AMERICAN ACT   Products over the micro-purchase threshold, to be used in the U.S., are subject to the Buy American Act. If the product is comprised of over 50% foreign made components, you must add 6% to the price of the foreign made product if the lowest domestic offer is from a large business concern, or 12% to the price of the foreign made product if the lowest domestic offer is from a small business concern.
BUYER   An individual in a Decentralized Office who has been granted NBS/Prism Access to create orders for supplies, services and equipment using certain mechanisms. These orders must be approved by an Approver.
CENTRAL CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION (CCR)   The primary Government repository for contractor information required for the conduct of business with the Government.
CENTRAL STORE ROOM AND SELF SERVICE STORES   Consists of one warehouse and five self-service stores (Buildings 10, 31, 35, EPS and Rockledge). Use the NIH Stock Catalog to determine which items are available from each inventory warehouse and self-service store. A charge card is required when directly purchasing from the self-service stores.
CHANGE-OF-NAME AGREEMENT   A legal instrument executed by the contractor and the Government that recognizes the legal change of name of the contractor without disturbing the original contractual rights and obligations of the parties.
CHANGE ORDER   A written order, signed by the contracting officer, directing the contractor to make a change that the Changes clause authorizes the contracting officer to order without the contractor's consent.

Contracts with 45 pre-qualified primes and multiple subcontracts to provide Information Technology hardware, software, systems, and services in support of IT solutions within NIH and other Government Agencies.

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (CFR)   A collection of publications that contains regulations for all Federal Departments and Agencies.
COGNIZANT FEDERAL AGENCY   The Federal agency that, on behalf of all Federal agencies, is responsible for establishing final indirect cost rates and forward pricing rates, if applicable, and administering cost accounting standards for all contracts in a business unit
COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS, OFFICE OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT (OFM)   The Commercial Accounts Branch is essentially responsible for the audit/review and payment of invoices in accordance to Federal regulations, i.e., Prompt Payment Act.
COMMERCIAL AND GOVERNMENT ENTITY CODE (CAGE)   An identification code assigned to the awardees of DOD contracts. The codes are used by DOD for record keeping purposes. Offerors do not need a CAGE code to submit a bid for a contract.
COMMERCIAL COMPONENT   Any component that is a commercial item
  1. Any item, other than real property, that is of a type customarily used by the general public or by non-governmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes, and--
    • Has been sold, leased, or licensed to the general public; or,
    • Has been offered for sale, lease, or license to the general public;
  2. Any item that evolved from an item described in paragraph (1) of this definition through advances in technology or performance and that is not yet available in the commercial marketplace, but will be available in the commercial marketplace in time to satisfy the delivery requirements under a Government solicitation;
  3. Any item that would satisfy a criterion expressed in paragraphs (1) or (2) of this definition, but for --
    • Modifications of a type customarily available in the commercial marketplace; or
    • Minor modifications of a type not customarily available in the commercial marketplace made to meet Federal Government requirements. Minor modifications means modifications that do not significantly alter the nongovernmental function or essential physical characteristics of an item or component, or change the purpose of a process. Factors to be considered in determining whether a modification is minor include the value and size of the modification and the comparative value and size of the final product. Dollar values and percentages may be used as guideposts, but are not conclusive evidence that a modification is minor;
  4. Any combination of items meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), or (5) of this definition that are of a type customarily combined and sold in combination to the general public;
  5. Installation services, maintenance services, repair services, training services, and other services if--
    • Such services are procured for support of an item referred to in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this definition, regardless of whether such services are provided by the same source or at the same time as the item; and
    • The source of such services provides similar services contemporaneously to the general public under terms and conditions similar to those offered to the Federal Government;
  6. Services of a type offered and sold competitively in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace based on established catalog or market prices for specific tasks performed or specific outcomes to be achieved and under standard commercial terms and conditions. This does not include services that are sold based on hourly rates without an established catalog or market price for a specific service performed or a specific outcome to be achieved. For purposes of these services—
    • “Catalog price” means a price included in a catalog, price list, schedule, or other form that is regularly maintained by the manufacturer or vendor, is either published or otherwise available for inspection by customers, and states prices at which sales are currently, or were last, made to a significant number of buyers constituting the general public; and
    • “Market prices” means current prices that are established in the course of ordinary trade between buyers and sellers free to bargain and that can be substantiated through competition or from sources independent of the offerors.
  7. Any item, combination of items, or service referred to in paragraphs (1) through (6) of this definition, notwithstanding the fact that the item, combination of items, or service is transferred between or among separate divisions, subsidiaries, or affiliates of a contractor; or
  8. A nondevelopmental item, if the procuring agency determines the item was developed exclusively at private expense and sold in substantial quantities, on a competitive basis, to multiple State and local governments.
COMMON ACCOUNT NUMBER (CAN)   The identification number of the specific IC account to be charged for the acquisition of supplies, services or equipment. This is sometimes referred to as accounting and appropriation data, or a fund cite.
COMPETITION   Is required by the FAR to ensure that a reasonable number of quotations/bids/offers are obtained from qualified sources when making awards above the micro-purchse threshold.
COMPETITION ADVOCATE   The person within each acquisition activity responsible for challenging barriers to, and promoting, full and open competition.
COMPETITION IN CONTRACTING ACT (CICA)   A law that requires full and open competition for Federal contracts.
COMPETITIVE PROPOSAL   One of the proposals received in response to a solicitation that has a real and reasonable chance of being selected for award of the contract.
COMPETITIVE RANGE   The competitive range identifies those offerors with whom NIH will conduct negotiations, and is composed of all of the most highly rated proposals, unless the range is further reduced for purposes of efficiency.
COMPONENT   In accordance with FAR 25.003, an article, material, or supply incorporated directly into an end product or construction material.
COMPUTER SOFTWARE   Computer programs, computer databases, and related documentation.
CONSENT TO SUBCONTRACT   The contracting officer's written consent for the prime contractor to enter into a particular subcontract
CONSTRUCTION   Construction, alteration, or repair (including dredging, excavating, and painting) of buildings, structures, or other real property. For purposes of this definition, the terms buildings, structures, or other real property include, but are not limited to, improvements of all types, such as bridges, dams, plants, highways, parkways, streets, subways, tunnels, sewers, mains, power lines, cemeteries, pumping stations, railways, airport facilities, terminals, docks, piers, wharves, ways, lighthouses, buoys, jetties, breakwaters, levees, canals, and channels. Construction does not include the manufacture, production, furnishing, construction, alteration, repair, processing, or assembling of vessels, aircraft, or other kinds of personal property.
CONTRACT (CNT)   A mutually binding legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish the supplies or services (including construction) and the buyer to pay for them. It includes all types of commitments that obligate the Government to an expenditure of appropriated funds and that, except as otherwise authorized, are in writing. In addition to bilateral instruments, contracts include (but are not limited to) awards and notices of awards; job orders or task letters issued under basic ordering agreements; letter contracts; orders, such as purchase orders, under which the contract becomes effective by written acceptance or performance; and bilateral contract modifications. Contracts do not include grants and cooperative agreements covered by 31 U.S.C. 6301, et seq. For discussion of various types of contracts, see FAR Part 16.
CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION   The management of all facets of the contracts to ensure that the Contractor’s total performance is in accordance with its contractual Commitments and that the obligations of the Government are fulfilled.
CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION OFFICE   an office that performs-
  1. Assigned post-award functions related to the administration of contracts; and
  2. Assigned pre-award functions.
CONTRACT CLAUSE   a term or condition used in contracts or in both solicitations and contracts, and applying after contract award or both before and after award.
CONTRACT FILE   Is the official record of the contract. It should contain, at a minimum, a copy of the Acquisition Plan, the requisition and actions listed, if applicable, at FAR 4.803, and the contract.
CONTRACT MODIFICATION   Any written change in the terms of a contract (see FAR 43.103).
CONTRACT NEGOTIATOR   The individual assigned to negotiate the contract up to, but not including, the point of signature. The contracting officer who signs the contract may act as the contract negotiator.
CONTRACTING   Purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise obtaining supplies or services from nonfederal sources. Contracting includes description (but not determination) of supplies and services required, selection and solicitation of sources, preparation and award of contracts, and all phases of contract administration. It does not include making grants or cooperative agreements.
CONTRACTING ACTIVITY   An element of an agency designated by the agency head and delegated broad authority regarding acquisition functions
CONTRACTING OFFICE   An office that awards or executes a contract for supplies or services and performs post-award functions not assigned to a contract administration office (except for use in FAR Part 48, see also 48.001).
CONTRACTING OFFICER (CO)   A person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. The term includes certain authorized representatives of the contracting officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the contracting officer. “Administrative contracting officer (ACO” refers to a contracting officer who is administering contracts. “Termination contracting officer (TCO)” refers to a contracting officer who is settling terminated contracts. A single contracting officer may be responsible for duties in any or all of these areas. Reference to administrative contracting officer or termination contracting officer does not-
  1. Require that a duty be performed at a particular office or activity; or
  2. Restrict in any way a contracting officer in the performance of any duty properly assigned.
CONTRACTOR   Any individual or other legal entity that provides quotations/bids/offers to the Government and is awarded a contract.
CONVICTION   A judgment or conviction of a criminal offense by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether entered upon a verdict or a plea, and includes a conviction entered upon a plea of nolo contendere. For use in FAR Subpart 23.5, see the definition at 23.503.
COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT   One of the financial assistance mechanisms, used when the purpose is support or stimulation of research, and substantial involvement by Federal program staff with the recipient during performance is anticipated.
COST ADVISORY REPORT   A commentary on the price and cost analysis of the offeror's proposal.

  (10 U.S.C. 2306a(h)(1) and 41 U.S.C. 254b) means all facts that, as of the date of price agreement or, if applicable, an earlier date agreed upon between the parties that is as close as practicable to the date of agreement on price, prudent buyers and sellers would reasonably expect to affect price negotiations significantly. Cost or pricing data are data requiring certification in accordance with 15.406-2. Cost or pricing data are factual, not judgmental; and are verifiable. While they do not indicate the accuracy of the prospective contractor's judgment about estimated future costs or projections, they do include the data forming the basis for that judgment. Cost or pricing data are more than historical accounting data; they are all the facts that can be reasonably expected to contribute to the soundness of estimates of future costs and to the validity of determinations of costs already incurred. They also include such factors as-
  1. Vendor quotations;
  2. Nonrecurring costs;
  3. (3) Information on changes in production methods and in production or purchasing volume;
  4. Data supporting projections of business prospects and objectives and related operations costs;
  5. Unit-cost trends such as those associated with labor efficiency;
  6. Make-or-buy decisions;
  7. Estimated resources to attain business goals; and
  8. Information on management decisions that could have a significant bearing on costs.
COST REALISM   The costs in an offeror's proposal-
  1. Are realistic for the work to be performed;
  2. Reflect a clear understanding of the requirements; and
  3. Are consistent with the various elements of the offeror's technical proposal.
COST SHARING   An explicit arrangement under which the contractor bears some of the burden of reasonable, allocable, and allowable contract cost.
DAY   Unless otherwise specified, a calendar day
DEBARMENT   Means action taken by a debarring official under 9.406 to exclude a contractor from Government contracting and Government-approved subcontracting for a reasonable, specified period; a contractor that is excluded is debarred.
DECENTRALIZED PURCHASING OFFICES   Offices that perform acquisition functions with limited delegated authorities.
DELEGATED ACQUISITION AUTHORITY   A written delegation of limited procurement authority granted to non-acquisition personnel by the Director, DAP, OLAO or the HCA. The document details under what circumstances those individuals may obligate appropriated funds for the Government. This authority cannot be further re-delegated.
DELIVERY ORDER (Internal)   An order for supplies placed against an established contract awarded by NIH.
DELIVERY ORDER (External)   An order for supplies placed against an established contract or Federal Supply Schedule, awarded by a Government Agency other than NIH.
DETERMINATION AND FINDINGS   A special form of written approval by an authorized official that is required by statute or regulation as a prerequisite to taking certain contract actions. The "determination" is a conclusion or decision supported by the "findings." The "findings" are statements of fact or rationale essential to support the determination and must cover each requirement of the statute or regulation.
DIRECT DELIVERY ORDER   The term used when equipment or supplies are delivered directly to the ordering activity instead of to Platform E in Building 13. This is the preferred delivery arrangement.
DIVISION OF LOGISTICS SERVICES (DLS)   Formerly the Office of Logistics Management (OLM).  Consolidated the OLM Supply Management Branch which manages material and operates the NIH Central Stores system, including the operation of the Self-Service Stores; and the OLM Transportation Management Branch which is responsible for receiving, storage and distribution of incoming freight, as well as for arranging for the shipment of items from NIH to foreign and domestic destinations.
DIVISION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY SERVICES (DPPS)   Formerly the OLM Property Management Division. Maintains accountability for all NIH property. This division promotes the utilization of excess property, and is a mandatory source that must be checked prior to purchasing furniture and equipment from any other source.
DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE   The site(s) for the performance of work done by the contractor in connection with a specific contract where employees of the contractor are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF TERMINATION   The date on which the notice of termination requires the contractor to stop performance under the contract. If the contractor receives the termination notice after the date fixed for termination, then the effective date of termination means the date the contractor receives the notice.
ELECTRONIC AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (EIT)   Has the same meaning as information technology except EIT also includes any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. The term EIT, includes, but is not limited to, telecommunication products (such as telephones), information kiosks and transaction machines, worldwide websites, multimedia, and office equipment (such as copiers and fax machines).
ELECTRONIC COMMERCE   Means electronic techniques for accomplishing business transactions including electronic mail or messaging, World Wide 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
ELECTRONIC COMMODITIES STORE CONTRACT (ESC III)   Contracts with multiple prime contractors to provide NIH with: Necessary hardware, software, maintenance, training, and documentation to satisfy the NIH desktop computing needs; network equipment and accessories to meet the needs of NIH's LAN/WAN infrastructure; and UNIX based workstations and support equipment to meet a broad range of computational requirements for NIH's functions in health, biomedical research, statistics, and science in general.
ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER (EFT)   Any transfer of funds, other than a transaction originated by cash, check, or similar paper instrument, that is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer, or magnetic tape, for the purpose of ordering, instructing, or authorizing a financial institution to debit or credit an account. The term includes Automated Clearing House transfers, Fed-wire transfers, and transfers made at automatic teller machines and point-of-sale terminals. For purposes of compliance with 31 U.S.C. 3332 and implementing regulations at 31 CFR part 208, the term electronic funds transfer includes a Government-wide commercial purchase card transaction.
EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (EIN)   A 10 or 12 digit number that identifies a vendor and their payment address to the Office of Financial Management so that the vendor can be paid.
END PRODUCT   Supplies delivered under a line item of a Government contract
ENERGY-EFFICIENT PRODUCT   Energy-efficient product” means a product that—
  • Meets Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency criteria for use of the Energy Star trademark label; or
  • Is in the upper 25 percent of efficiency for all similar products as designated by the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program.
ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERABLE   Products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product or service.
EVALUATION CRITERIA   Criteria by which proposals will be evaluated.
EXCESS PROPERTY   Government-owned property under the control of a Federal agency but no longer needed by that agency.
EXECUTIVE AGENCY   An executive department, a military department, or any independent establishment within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 101, 102, and 104(1), respectively, and any wholly owned Government corporation within the meaning of 31 U.S.C. 9101.
EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH   Is funded through NIH grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts. Extramural research is done elsewhere, external to NIH, in private industry, universities, hospitals and other non-profit institutions.
FEDBIZOPPS   For any requirement in the FAR to publish a notice, the contracting officer must transmit the notices to the Governmentwide Point of Entry (GPE). The FedBizOpps satisfies this requirement. See FAR Part 5.
FEDERAL ACQUISITION COMPUTER NETWORK (FACNET) ARCHITECTURE   A Government system that provides user access, employs nationally and internationally recognized data formats, and allows the electronic data interchange of acquisition information between the private sector and the Federal Government.
FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION (FAR)   The regulation governing civilian Federal executive agencies in the acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds.
FEDERAL AGENCY   Any executive agency or any independent establishment in the legislative or judicial branch of the Government (except the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Architect of the Capitol, and any activities under the Architect's direction).
FEDERAL STOCK NUMBER (FSN)   A code number used to identify documents sold by the U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents.
FEDERAL SUPPLY CLASSIFICATION (FSC)   A code number used by the government to identify various items of equipment which are purchased by the government.
FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE (FSS)   Federal Supply Schedules, directed and managed by GSA, established with commercial firms to provide agencies with supplies, services and equipment at discounted prices for a given period of time.
FEDERALLY FUNDED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTERS (FFRDC)   Activities that are sponsored under a broad charter by a Government agency (or agencies) for the purpose of performing, analyzing, integrating, supporting, and/or managing basic or applied research and/or development, and that receive 70 percent or more of their financial support from the Government; and-
  1. A long-term relationship is contemplated;
  2. Most or all of the facilities are owned or funded by the Government; and
  3. The FFRDC has access to Government and supplier data, employees, and facilities beyond that common in a normal contractual relationship.
FINAL INDIRECT COST RATE   The indirect cost rate established and agreed upon by the Government and the contractor as not subject to change. It is usually established after the close of the contractor's fiscal year (unless the parties decide upon a different period) to which it applies. For cost-reimbursement research and development contracts with educational institutions, it may be predetermined; that is, established for a future period on the basis of cost experience with similar contracts, together with supporting data.
FINAL PROPOSAL REVISION   Vendor's best and final offer to the government for the goods or services which are being procured. [NOTE: This term has replaced "BAFO".]
FIRM FIXED PRICE (FFP)   A type of contract under which the government agrees to purchase goods or services at a set price.
FOB (FREE ON BOARD)   This term is used in conjunction with a physical point to determine –
  1. The responsibility and basis for payment of freight charges; and
  2. Unless otherwise agreed, the point where title for goods passes to the buyer or consignee.
“F.o.b. destination” means free on board at destination; i.e., the seller or consignor delivers the goods on seller’s or consignor’s conveyance at destination. Unless the contract provides otherwise, the seller or consignor is responsible for the cost of shipping and risk of loss. “F.o.b. origin” means free on board at origin; i.e., the seller or consignor places the goods on the conveyance. Unless the contract provides otherwise, the buyer or consignee is responsible for the cost of shipping and risk of loss.
FREIGHT   Supplies, goods, and transportable property.
FULL AND OPEN COMPETITION   Used with respect to a contractual action, means that all responsible sources are permitted to compete.
GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE (G&A) EXPENSE   Any management, financial, and other expense which is incurred by or allocated to a business unit and which is for the general management and administration of the business unit as a whole. G&A expense does not include those management expenses whose beneficial or causal relationship to cost objectives can be more directly measured by a base other than a cost input base representing the total activity of a business unit during a cost accounting period.
GOVERNMENT WIDE POINT OF ENTRY (GPE)   The single point where Government business opportunities greater than $25,000, including synopses of proposed contract actions, solicitations, and associated information, can be accessed electronically by the public. The GPE is located at http://www.fedbizopps.gov.
GOVERNMENTWIDE ACQUISITION CONTRACT (GWAC)   A task-order or delivery-order contract for information technology established by one agency for Governmentwide use that is operated—
  1. By an executive agent designated by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 11302(e); or
  2. Under a delegation of procurement authority issued by the General Services Administration (GSA) prior to August 7, 1996, under authority granted GSA by former section 40 U.S.C. 759, repealed by Pub. L. 104-106.
The Economy Act does not apply to orders under a Governmentwide acquisition contract.
HEAD OF THE CONTRACTING ACTIVITY (HCA)   The official who has overall responsibility for managing the contracting activity.
HHS ACQUISITION REGULATION (HHSAR)   The Department regulation applicable to HHS acquisition activities that implements and supplements the FAR. These regulations are prescribed under 5 U.S.C. 301 and Section 205(c) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended.
HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY   An institution determined by the Secretary of Education to meet the requirements of 34 CFR 608.2.
HUBZone   A historically underutilized business zone that is an area located within one or more qualified census tracts, qualified non-metropolitan counties, or lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation.
HUBZone SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN   A small business concern that appears on the List of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns maintained by the Small Business Administration.
I.M.P.A.C.   An acronym that stands for "International Merchant Purchase Authorization Card" that was associated with the purchase card program prior to 1998.
IN WRITING (writing, or written)   Any worded or numbered expression that can be read, reproduced, and later communicated, and includes electronically transmitted and stored information.
INDEFINITE DELIVERY CONTRACT (IDC)   Provides for varying amounts of supplies or services to be furnished during a fixed period, with deliveries or performance to be scheduled by placing orders with the contractor. With the exception of a minimum quantity, as applicable with the type of IDC, funding is provided with each order placed. An Internal or External Task/Delivery Order (TO/DO) my be used to obligate funds.
INDIRECT COST   Any cost not directly identified with a single, final cost objective, but identified with two or more final cost objectives or an intermediate cost objective.
INDIRECT COST RATE   The percentage or dollar factor that expresses the ratio of indirect expense incurred in a given period to direct labor cost, manufacturing cost, or another appropriate base for the same period (see also final indirect cost rate).
INELIGIBLE   Excluded from Government contracting (and subcontracting, if appropriate) pursuant to statutory, Executive order, or regulatory authority other than this regulation (48 CFR Chapter 1) and its implementing and supplementing regulations; for example, pursuant to the Davis-Bacon Act and its related statutes and implementing regulations, the Service Contract Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Acts and Executive orders, the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, the Buy American Act, or the Environmental Protection Acts and Executive orders.
INFORMATION OTHER THAN COST OR PRICING DATA   Any type of information that is not required to be certified in accordance with FAR 15.406-2 and is necessary to determine price reasonableness or cost realism. For example, such information may include pricing, sales, or cost information, and includes cost or pricing data for which certification is determined inapplicable after submission.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT)   Any equipment, or interconnected system(s) or subsystem(s) of equipment, that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information by the agency.
  1. For purposes of this definition, equipment is used by an agency if the equipment is used by the agency directly or is used by a contractor under a contract with the agency that requires-
    • Its use; or
    • To a significant extent, its use in the performance of a service or the furnishing of a product.
  2. The term information technology includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.
  3. The term information technology does not include any equipment that-
    • Is acquired by a contractor incidental to a contract; or
    • Contains imbedded information technology that is used as an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. For example, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment, such as thermostats or temperature control devices, and medical equipment where information technology is integral to its operation, are not information technology.
INHERENTLY GOVERNMENTAL FUNCTION   As a matter of policy, a function that is so intimately related to the public interest as to mandate performance by Government employees. This definition is a policy determination, not a legal determination. An inherently governmental function includes activities that require either the exercise of discretion in applying Government authority, or the making of value judgments in making decisions for the Government. Governmental functions normally fall into two categories: the act of governing, i.e., the discretionary exercise of Government authority, and monetary transactions and entitlements.
  1. An inherently governmental function involves, among other things, the interpretation and execution of the laws of the United States so as to-
    • Bind the United States to take or not to take some action by contract, policy, regulation, authorization, order, or otherwise;
    • Determine, protect, and advance United States economic, political, territorial, property, or other interests by military or diplomatic action, civil or criminal judicial proceedings, contract management, or otherwise;
    • Significantly affect the life, liberty, or property of private persons;
    • Commission, appoint, direct, or control officers or employees of the United States; or
    • Exert ultimate control over the acquisition, use, or disposition of the property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, of the United States, including the collection, control, or disbursement of Federal funds.
  2. Inherently governmental functions do not normally include gathering information for or providing advice, opinions, recommendations, or ideas to Government officials. They also do not include functions that are primarily ministerial and internal in nature, such as building security, mail operations, operation of cafeterias, housekeeping, facilities operations and maintenance, warehouse operations, motor vehicle fleet management operations, or other routine electrical or mechanical services.
INSPECTION   Examining and testing supplies or services (including, when appropriate, raw materials, components, and intermediate assemblies) to determine whether they conform to contract requirements.
INSURANCE   A contract that provides that for a stipulated consideration, one party undertakes to indemnify another against loss, damage, or liability arising from an unknown or contingent event.
INVITATION FOR BID (IFB)   A solicitation issued by the government to prospective bidders. An IFB describes what the government requires and how the offerors will be evaluated. Award is made to the responsive, responsible bidder whose bid, conforming to the IFB, will be the most advantageous to the Government, considering only price and price-related factors included in the IFB.
INVOICE   A contractor's bill or written request for payment under the contract for supplies delivered or services performed (see also “proper invoice”).
I-PROCUREMENT   Software that permits entering requisitions and certifying receipt of goods or services under orders and contracts.
JUSTIFICATION FOR OTHER THAN FULL AND OPEN COMPETITION (JOFOC)   A justification required when any acquisition over the simplified acquisition threshold must be obtained without full and open competitive procedures. Note that justifications (but not formal JOFOCs) must be written and approved for any acquisition described above that is over the micropurchase threshold.
JAVITTS-WAGNER-O'DAY ACT (JWOD):   JWOD: Javitts-Wagner-O’Day Act. The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled maintains a Procurement List of products and services which have been placed in the JWOD Program, now called the AbilityONE Program, as referenced in FAR Subparts 8.0 and 8.7. Once a product or service is on the Procurement List, the Government must buy it from the organization designated by the Committee until the Government no longer has requirements for that item, or until a nonprofit agency employing people with severe disabilities can no longer furnish that item.
LABOR SURPLUS AREA (LSA)   A geographical area identified by the Department of Labor in accordance with 20 CFR part 654, subpart A, as an area of concentrated unemployment or underemployment or an area of labor surplus.
LABOR SURPLUS AREA CONCERN   A concern that together with its first-tier subcontractors will perform substantially in labor surplus areas. Performance is substantially in labor surplus areas if the costs incurred under the contract on account of manufacturing, production, or performance of appropriate services in labor surplus areas exceed 50 percent of the contract price.
LEVEL OF EFFORT   This type of contract obligates the contractor to devote a specified level of effort for a stated period of time. Usually the minimum and maximum number and type of person-hours or person-months that the Government is purchasing are specified in the contract.
LIST OF PARTIES EXCLUDED FROM FEDERAL PROCUREMENT AND NON-PROCUREMENT PROGRAMS   A web-based list (Excluded Parties List System – EPLS) compiled and maintained by the General Services Administration containing the names and other information about parties debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible or excluded or disqualified under the nonprocurement common rule.
LIST PRICE   The price charged by the vendor to commercial customers or the general public prior to any discounts. List price is the price exclusive of shipping costs and prompt payment discounts.
MAJOR SYSTEM   A combination of elements that will function together to produce the capabilities required to fulfill a mission need. The elements may include hardware, equipment, software, or any combination thereof, but exclude construction or other improvements to real property. A system is a major system if-
  1. The Department of Defense is responsible for the system and the total expenditures for research, development, test, and evaluation for the system are estimated to be more than $173.5 million or the eventual total expenditure for the acquisition exceeds $814.5 million;
  2. A civilian agency is responsible for the system and total expenditures for the system are estimated to exceed $1.8 million or the dollar threshold for a “major system” established by the agency pursuant to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-109, entitled “Major System Acquisitions,” whichever is greater; or
  3. The system is designated a major system by the head of the agency responsible for the system (10 U.S.C. 2302 and 41 U.S.C. 403).
MAKE-OR-BUY-PROGRAM   Part of a contractor's written plan for a contract identifying those major items to be produced or work efforts to be performed in the prime contractor's facilities and those to be subcontracted
MANDATORY SOURCES   A source, supplier, or vendor from which items or services must be purchased (unless compelling reasons for not doing so are documented) as specified by law, regulation, or policy.
MARKET RESEARCH   Collecting and analyzing information about capabilities within the market to satisfy agency needs
MASTER SOLICITATION   A document containing special clauses and provisions that have been identified as essential for the acquisition of a specific type of supply or service that is acquired repetitively.
MAXIMUM ORDER LIMIT (MOL)   A dollar amount or quantity above which agencies cannot submit orders and contractors cannot accept orders. You cannot split an order to avoid an MOL.
MAXIMUM ORDER THRESHOLD   Each schedule contract has an established maximum order threshold. This threshold represents the point where it is advantageous for the ordering office to seek a price reduction.
MAY   Denotes the permissive. However, the words no person may ... mean that no person is required, authorized, or permitted to do the act described
MERCHANT CODES   US Bank categorizes each merchant according to the type of business the merchant is engaged in and the kinds of goods and services provided.  These codes designate what can or cannot be purchased with the purchase card.
MICRO-PURCHASE   An acquisition of supplies or services, the aggregate amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold. Micro-purchases for construction are limited to $2,000. A proposed purchase may not be divided into several purchases for lesser amounts in order to use either the micro-purchase or simplified acquisition procedures.
MINORITY INSTITUTION   An institution of higher education meeting the requirements of Section 1046(3) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067k), including a Hispanic-serving institution of higher education, as defined in Section 316(b)(1) of the Act (20 U.S.C. 1101a).
MULTI-AGENCY CONTRACT (MAC)   A task-order or delivery-order contract established by one agency for use by Government agencies to obtain supplies and services, consistent with the Economy Act (see 17.500(b)). Multi-agency contracts include contracts for information technology established pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 11314(a)(2).
NIH BUSINESS SYSTEM (NBS)   Replaces the Administrative Database (ADB). A single, integrated, transaction-based system, the NBS links the NIH administrative and scientifiic support functions, enterprise human resources and payroll, budget, finance and travel.
NATIONAL STOCK NUMBER (NSN)   A unique number assigned by the General Services Administration which catalogs a wide range of items by commodity, group, and class.
NEGOTIATION   This term refers to the making of purchases and contracts without using sealed bid procedures. Under negotiated contracts, the lowest offeror does not necessarily receive the award. Award is made on the basis of the proposal that offers the greatest advantage to the Government, price and other factors considered.
NEGOTIATION MEMORANDUM   This is a complete record of all actions leading to the award of a contract. It records the history of the acquisition and explains and supports the rationale, judgments, and authorities upon which all decisions and actions are predicated.
NIH MANUAL ISSUANCES (6000 Series)   Specific policies and procedures for implementation of the FAR and HHSAR at NIH.
  1. Any previously developed item of supply used exclusively for governmental purposes by a Federal agency, a State or local government, or a foreign government with which the United States has a mutual defense cooperation agreement;
  2. Any item described in paragraph (1) of this definition that requires only minor modification or modifications of a type customarily available in the commercial marketplace in order to meet the requirements of the procuring department or agency; or
  3. Any item of supply being produced that does not meet the requirements of paragraphs (1) or (2) solely because the item is not yet in use.
NON-PERSONAL SERVICE ORDER   An order which has the vendor personnel rendering services that do not require, either by order terms or by the manner of its administration, the supervision and control usually prevailing in the relationship between the Government and its employees.
NON-RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTS   Contracts that purchase equipment, materials, supplies, services and construction that are not Research and Development.
NORTH AMERICAN INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS (NAICS) Codes   The system established by the Small Business Administration that sets size standards on an industry-by-industry basis and can be found at http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html.
NOVATION AGREEMENT   A legal instrument
  1. Executed by the-
    • Contractor (transferor);
    • Successor in interest (transferee); and
    • Government; and
  2. By which, among other things, the transferor guarantees performance of the contract, the transferee assumes all obligations under the contract, and the Government recognizes the transfer of the contract and related assets.
OBJECT CLASS CODES   Uniform codes used in classifying the financial transactions of the National Institutes of Health by object.
OBLIGATION   A definite commitment which creates a legal liability of the Government for the payment of appropriated funds for goods and services ordered or received.
OFFER   A response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract. Responses to invitations for bids (sealed bidding) are offers called bids or sealed bids; responses to requests for proposals (negotiation) are offers called proposals; responses to requests for quotations (negotiation) are not offers and are called quotes. For unsolicited proposals, see FAR Subpart 15.6.
OFFEROR   An individual or firm responding to a solicitation.
OPEN MARKET SOURCES OF SUPPLY   Vendors who are not required sources for the item or service desired or are not listed on GSA Schedules, NIH ID/IQ contracts, or NIH BPAs..
OPTION   A unilateral right in a contract by which, for a specified time, the Government may elect to purchase additional supplies or services called for by the contract, or may elect to extend the term of the contract.
ORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST   Because of other activities or relationships with other persons, a person is unable or potentially unable to render impartial assistance or advice to the Government, or the person's objectivity in performing the contract work is or might be otherwise impaired, or a person has an unfair competitive advantage.
PEER REVIEW   NIH Scientific Peer Review regulations require that ICs obtain peer review of each R&D contract project concept before issuing a Request for Proposals for biomedical and behavioral research (42 CFR 52h.10). The concept identifies the basic purpose, scope and objectives of the project.
PERFORMANCE-BASED ACQUISITION   An acquisition structured around the results to be achieved as opposed to the manner by which the work is to be performed.
PERFORMANCE WORK STATEMENT (PWS)   A statement of work for performance-based acquisitions that describes the required results in clear, specific and objective terms with measurable outcomes.
PERSONAL APPEAL ITEMS   Items that are used for official duties and could be construed to be used for personal purposes. Examples include calculators, cameras, briefcases, hair dryers, power tools, projection sets, radios, recorders, cellular telephones, beepers and laptop computers.
PERSONAL SERVICES CONTRACT   A contract that, by its express terms or as administered, makes the contractor personnel appear to be, in effect, Government employees (see FAR 37.104).
POSSESSIONS   includes the Virgin Islands, Johnston Island, American Samoa, Guam, Wake Island, Midway Island, and the Guano Islands, but does not include Puerto Rico, leased bases, or trust territories
POWER OF ATTORNEY   The authority given one person or corporation to act for and obligate another, as specified in the instrument creating the power; in corporate suretyship, an instrument under seal that appoints an attorney-in-fact to act in behalf of a surety company in signing bonds (see also attorney-in-fact at FAR 28.001).
PRE-AWARD SURVEY   Investigation of a firm's management and resources in order to forecast the potential to perform under a proposed contract or to reveal whether the offeror's financial and accounting systems are reliable for cost accumulation and billing.
PRE-NEGOTIATION CONFERENCE   Meeting of the Government negotiation team in which negotiation goals are developed prior to negotiation with the contractor.
PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE   Means proof by information that, compared with that opposing it, leads to the conclusion that the fact at issue is more probably true than not.
PRICE ANALYSIS   Means the process of examining and evaluating proposed price without evaluating its separate cost elements and proposed profit.
PRICE HISTORY   Comparison of the proposed price with prices found reasonable on previous purchases for the same item or similar items.
PRICING   The process of establishing a reasonable amount or amounts to be paid for supplies or services.
PRIORITY SOURCES   A source, supplier, or vendor from which items or services must be purchased (unless compelling reasons for not doing so are documented) as specified by law, regulation, or policy.  Sources for supplies and services in descending order of priority (as required by FAR Part 8):
  1. Supplies—agency inventories; excess from other agencies; Federal Prison Industries, Inc.; products available from the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled; wholesale supply sources, such as stock programs of the General Services Administration, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and military inventory control points; mandatory Federal Supply Schedules; optional use Federal Supply Schedules, and commercial sources (including educational and nonprofit institutions);
  2. Services—services available from the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled; mandatory Federal Supply Schedules; optional use Federal Supply Schedules, and Federal Prison Industries, Inc.; or commercial sources (including educational and nonprofit institutions).
PRISM   A software program under NBS, developed by CompuSearch, that permits placing orders and awarding contracts.
PROCEDURAL FINDINGS   NIH requirements that have not been met.
PROCURING ACTIVITY   Means a component of an executive agency having a significant acquisition function and designated as such by the head of the agency. Unless agency regulations specify otherwise, the term procuring activity is synonymous with contracting activity
PROGRAM ADVISORY GROUP (PAG)   A peer group which reviews and approves or disapproves concepts for R&D contract projects. See MC 6315.1.
PROJECT OFFICER   A program representative responsible for coordinating with acquisition officials on projects for which contract support is contemplated. After award and during contract administration, this representative is referred to as the “Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR).” The COTR is responsible for technical monitoring and evaluation of the contractor's performance after award.
PROMPT PAYMENT ACT   Is Public Law 97-177, which states that each Federal agency who acquires services, supplies or equipment from vendors and does not make timely payment for such delivery by the required payment date shall pay an interest penalty to the vendor.
PROPER INVOICE   A bill or written request for payment that meets the minimum standards specified in FAR 32.905(b) and in the clause at FAR 52.232-25, Prompt Payment, FAR 52.232-26, Prompt Payment for Fixed-Price Architect-Engineer Contracts, or FAR 52.232-27, Prompt Payment for Construction Contracts (also see FAR 32.905(e)), and other terms and conditions contained in the contract for invoice submission.
PROPOSAL   A vendor's formal offer to provide specified goods or services to the government for a specified price or cost.
PROPOSAL EVALUATION CRITERIA   Criteria against which proposals are evaluated. The RFP must explain these factors and their order of importance.
PURCHASE CARD   Government-wide commercial credit card used primarily to facilitate micro-purchases. Can also be used as a method of payment for larger purchases under simplified acquisition guidelines.
PURCHASE DESCRIPTION   Describes the item(s) to be purchased. Sets forth the essential physical and functional characteristics of the materials or services required.
PURCHASE ORDER (PO)   When issued by the Government, means an offer by the Government to buy supplies or services, including construction and research and development, upon specified terms and conditions, using simplified acquisition procedures.
PURCHASE ORDER INVOICE VOUCHER (SF44)   A voucher available to some individuals with delegated acquisition authority in decentralized offices up to $1,500, and available to some contracting officers in Offices of Acquisition up to $2,500.
PURCHASE REQUEST/WORKSHEET (NIH 1861-1)   Is the record of a particular acquisition request which must show who is requesting the item/service, their printed, typed or signed name, their Bldg and room number, what is to be bought, the need for the item/service in relation to the Government's benefit, estimate of how much it costs, check of mandatory sources, three sources, what competition was obtained, why the price paid was considered fair and reasonable, and justifications for source selection.
QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LISTS (QPL)   A list of products that have been examined, tested, and have satisfied all applicable qualification requirements

The act or process of receiving ordered items or services usually by signing a packing slip, delivery order, or purchase order and entering a record of having done so in the I-Procurement (Oracle) system.

“Receiving” is made up of three distinct components: Receipt, Inspection and Acceptance.

Receipt – the process of receiving a delivery of goods or services from a contractor or carrier.

Inspection – examining and testing supplies or services (including, when appropriate, raw materials, components, and intermediate assemblies) to determine whether they conform to contract requirements.

Acceptance - written acknowledgement that supplies or services as received are in accordance with the contract terms.

RECEIVING OFFICIAL   Is an individual (normally the Requester) who acknowledges receipt of ordered items or services rendered by signing and completing the receiving information (as described in the Prompt Payment Act receipt) on the order or packing slip. This person must not be the funds certifying official or the Approving Official.
RECEIVING REPORT   Written evidence that indicates Government acceptance of supplies delivered or services performed (see FAR Subpart 46.6). Receiving reports must meet the requirements of 32.905(c).
REGULATORY FINDINGS   Requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Health and Human Services Regulation or other Regulation that have not been met
  1. The contractor has entered all mandatory information, including the DUNS number or the DUNS+4 number, into the CCR database; and
  2. The Government has validated all mandatory data fields, to include validation of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and has marked the record “Active”. The contractor will be required to provide consent for TIN validation to the Government as a part of the CCR registration process.
REJECTION   The act which denies the responsibility of NIH to pay for something which has been delivered or work completed, and whenever possible, returns the item to the vendor
RENEWAL   An agreement to an existing contract for continuation of work with the incumbent contractor.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP)   Solicitation package sent to interested, potential bidders. Package consists of :
  1. Statement of Work;
  2. Desired performance or delivery schedule;
  3. available government-furnished property, if any;
  4. Applicable contract clauses to be included in the contract, and;
  5. Evaluation criteria to be used to evaluate submitted proposals.
REQUEST FOR QUOTATION (RFQ)   A request for pricing from interested vendors for supplies or services where the dollar amount is expected to be at or below the simplified acquisition threshold.
REQUESTER   An individual who completes and submits the purchase request for supplies, services or equipment to the Ordering Official for processing. Also referred to as an “end user.”
REQUESTING OFFICIALS   Principal Administrative Officers
REQUIRED SOURCES   A source, supplier, or vendor from which items or services must be purchased (unless compelling reasons for not doing so are documented) as specified by law, regulation, or policy.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D)   Research, development, and demonstration activities typically involve procedures to acquire and apply new scientific knowledge and to develop approaches and methods, perform experimental procedures, record observations and data, analyze and interpret findings, and publish results, interpretations, and conclusions.
RESPONSIBLE AUDIT AGENCY   The agency that is responsible for performing all required contract audit services at a business unit.
RESPONSIBLE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR   A contractor that meets the standards in FAR 9.104.
SCIENTIFIC REVIEW GROUP (SRG)   A group of primarily nongovernmental experts qualified by training and experience in particular scientific or technical fields, or as authorities knowledgeable in the various disciplines and fields related to the scientific areas under review, to give expert advice on the scientific and technical merits of contract proposals, or the concept of contract projects when serving as a program advisory group (peer review group) or PAG. A minimum of three reviewers is required. Not more than one-fourth of the SRG may be officers or employees of the United States. Membership on such groups does not make an individual an officer, agent, or employee of the United States.
SEALED BIDDING   A method of contracting that employs competitive bids, public opening of bids, and awards to that responsible bidder whose bid, conforming to the invitation for bids, will be most advantageous to the Government, considering only price and price-related factors included in the invitation.
SECTION 8(a)   The section of the Small Business Act (15 USC. 631 et. seq.) under which agencies contract with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for goods or services to be furnished under a subcontract by a small disadvantaged business concern.
SENIOR PROCUREMENT EXECUTIVE   The individual appointed pursuant to section 16(3) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 414(3)) who is responsible for management direction of the acquisition system of the executive agency, including implementation of the unique acquisition policies, regulations, and standards of the executive agency
SERVICE AND SUPPLY FUND ACTIVITIES SYSTEM   The Service and Supply Fund (SSF) Activities System is an on-line system for Requesting certain NIH goods and services. Currently, requests for media, printing and reproduction, audiovisual services, photography, graphic arts, medical illustrations, design, special events, Office of Research Facilities (ORF) work requests, shipping and telecommunications services can be ordered through this system.
  1. A small business concern-
    • Not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans; and
    • The management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of a veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran.
  2. Service-disabled veteran means a veteran, as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(2), with a disability that is service-connected, as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(16).
SET-ASIDE   The restricting of certain acquisitions to response by a specific group of sources.
SF   Standard Form
SF-3881   See Automated Clearing House
SF-44 (Standard Form 44)   Multipurpose pocket-sized purchase order form designed primarily for on-the-spot, over-the-counter purchases of supplies and non-personal services while away from the purchasing office or a isolated activities. It can also be used as a receiving report, invoice, and public voucher.
SHIPMENT   Freight transported or to be transported.
SHOP DRAWINGS   Drawings submitted by the construction contractor or a subcontractor at any tier or required under a construction contract, showing in detail either or both of the following:
  1. The proposed fabrication and assembly of structural elements.
  2. The installation (i.e., form, fit, and attachment details) of materials or equipment.
SHOULD   An expected course of action or policy that is to be followed unless inappropriate for a particular circumstance.
SIGNATURE (or signed)   The discrete, verifiable symbol of an individual that, when affixed to a writing with the knowledge and consent of the individual, indicates a present intention to authenticate the writing. This includes electronic symbols.
SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION PROCEDURES   Methods of acquisition up to the simplified acquisition threshold using FAR Part 13.
SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION THRESHOLD (SAT)   Means $100,000, except for acquisitions of supplies or services that, as determined by the head of the agency, are to be used to support a contingency operations or to facilitate defense against or recovery from nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack (41 U.S.C. 428(a)), where the term means (1) $250,000 for any contract to be awarded and performed, or purchase to be made, inside the U.S., and (2) $1 million for any contract to be awarded and performed, or purchase to be made, outside the U.S.
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN   A business that is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation in which it is bidding on government contracts, and qualified as a small business under the criteria and size standards in 13 CFR Part 121 (see FAR 19.102).  The Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible for further definition and does this through its Small Business Size Standards Regulations as stated in FAR 19.102.
SMALL BUSINESS SUBCONTRACTOR   A concern, including affiliates, that for subcontracts valued at-
  1. $10,000 or less, does not have more than 500 employees; or
  2. More than $10,000, does not have employees or average annual receipts exceeding the size standard in 13 CFR part 121 (see FAR 19.102) for the product or service it is providing on the subcontract.
SMALL BUSINESS SET ASIDE (SBSA)   A solicitation restricted to competition completed only among small businesses.
SMALL DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS CONCERN   (Except for 52.212-3(c)(2) and 52.219-1(b)(2) for general statistical purposes and 52.212-3(c)(7)(ii), 52.219-22(b)(2), and 52.219-23(a) for joint ventures under the price evaluation adjustment for small disadvantaged business concerns), means an offeror that represents, as part of its offer, that it is a small business under the size standard applicable to the acquisition; and either-
  1. It has received certification as a small disadvantaged business concern consistent with 13 CFR part 124, subpart B; and
    • No material change in disadvantaged ownership and control has occurred since its certification;
    • Where the concern is owned by one or more disadvantaged individuals, the net worth of each individual upon whom the certification is based does not exceed $750,000 after taking into account the applicable exclusions set forth at 13 CFR 124.104(c)(2); and
    • It is identified, on the date of its representation, as a certified small disadvantaged business concern in the data base maintained by the Small Business Administration (PRO-Net); or
  2. For a prime contractor, it has submitted a completed application to the Small Business Administration or a private certifier to be certified as a small disadvantaged business concern in accordance with 13 CFR part 124, subpart B, and a decision on that application is pending, and that no material change in disadvantaged ownership and control has occurred since it submitted its application. In this case, a contractor must receive certification as a small disadvantaged business by the Small Business Administration prior to contract award.
SOLE SOURCE ACQUISITION   Also called non-competitive acquisition. Means a contract or an order for the purchase of supplies or services that is entered into or proposed to be entered into by an agency for soliciting and negotiating with only one source. A justification is required for all sole source orders in excess of the micro-purchase threshold. A formal Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition (JOFOC) is required for actions above the simiplified acquisition threshold.
SOLICITATION (SOL)   A document that describes the Government’s needs and requests offers or quotations to the Government. Solicitations under sealed bid procedures are called “invitations for bids.” Solicitations under negotiated procedures are called “requests for proposals.” Solicitations under simplified acquisition procedures may require submission of either a quotation or an offer.
SOLICITATION PROVISION (OR PROVISION)   A term or condition used only in solicitations and applying only before contract award.
SOURCE EVALUATION PANEL (SEP)   A generic term for an IC committee which evaluates the technical evaluation group recommendations and develops questions to offerors based on identified weaknesses in their proposals. The SEP should comprise, at a minimum, the project and contracting officers, and should be supplemented by at least one other person with appropriate technical expertise.
SOURCE SELECTION PANEL (SSP)   A generic term for an IC panel that evaluates the Final Proposal Revisions and recommends to the CO who should receive an award. The SSP may comprise, at a minimum, the project and contracting officers, and may be supplemented by other persons with appropriate technical expertise.
SOURCE SELECTION AUTHORITY (SSA)   The SSA considers the recommendations of the SSP and any other advisory boards or panels, and selects the source or sources whose proposal(s) offer the best value to the Government.  At the NIH, the SSA is usually the contracting officer. 
SOURCES FOR SOLICITATION   Prospective offerors to whom the solicitation will be sent, even though not requested.
SPECIAL COMPETENCY   A special or unique capability, including qualitative aspects, developed incidental to the primary functions of the Federally Funded Research and Development Centers to meet some special need.
SPLIT REQUIREMENT   The attempt to avoid dollar limitations set for an entire order by placing multiple orders.
SPLITTING REQUIREMENTS   Defines the unauthorized practice of breaking down a requirement into several smaller requirements to avoid either approvals or other tasks that become necessary at a given dollar threshold.
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT   Published legal code of ethics that must be followed when representing the Government.
STATE AND LOCAL TAXES   Taxes levied by the States, the District of Columbia, and outlying areas of the United States, or their political subdivisions.
STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW)   The statement of work describes work to be performed rather than the end result to be obtained. It describes precisely and in sufficient detail the work expected in achieving the end objective.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES (SOO)   A Government-prepared document incorporated into the solicitation that states the overall performance objectives. It is used in solicitations when the Government intends to provide the maximum flexibility to each offeror to propose an innovative approach.
STATION SUPPORT   The items and services required to keep the federal facility in operation.
SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE   Information sufficient to support the reasonable belief that a particular act or omission has occurred.
SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENT   A contract modification that is accomplished by the mutual action of the parties.
SUPPLIES   All property except land or interest in land. It includes (but is not limited to) public works, buildings, and facilities; ships, floating equipment, and vessels of every character, type, and description, together with parts and accessories; aircraft and aircraft parts, accessories, and equipment; machine tools; and the alteration or installation of any of the foregoing.
SURETY   An individual or corporation legally liable for the debt, default, or failure of a principal to satisfy a contractual obligation. The types of sureties referred to are as follows:
  1. An individual surety is one person, as distinguished from a business entity, who is liable for the entire penal amount of the bond.
  2. A corporate surety is licensed under various insurance laws and, under its charter, has legal power to act as surety for others.
  3. A cosurety is one of two or more sureties that are jointly liable for the penal sum of the bond. A limit of liability for each surety may be stated.
SURPLUS PROPERTY   See Excess Property
SUSPENSION   Action taken by a suspending official under FAR 9.407 to disqualify a contractor temporarily from Government contracting and Government-approved subcontracting; a contractor that is disqualified is suspended.
SYNOPSIS   A brief description of the item or service which the government is buying or planning to buy.
TASK ORDER, INTERNAL   An order for services placed against an established contract awarded by the NIH.
TASK ORDER, EXTERNAL   An order for services, placed against an established contract or Federal Supply Schedule, awarded by a Government agency other than NIH.
TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (TIN)   The number required by the IRS to be used by the offeror in reporting income tax and other returns. The TIN may be either a Social Security Number or an Employer Identification Number.
TECHNICAL EVALUATION   Measuring a technical proposal against the technical requirements of the acquisition data and rating the proposal accordingly.
TECHNICAL EVALUATION GROUP   A review group which provides scientific and technical review and evaluation of proposals for R&D contracts. MC 6315-1 now calls this the Program Advisory Group (PAG) (for R&D acquisitions only).
TWO-STEP SEALED BIDDING   This acquisition method is designed for use when adequate specifications are not available. Step one consists of the request for, submission, evaluation, and (if necessary) discussion of a technical proposal. No pricing is involved. Step two involves the submission of sealed price bids by those who submitted acceptable technical proposals in step one.
UNALLOWABLE COST   Any cost that, under the provisions of any pertinent law, regulation, or contract, cannot be included in prices, cost-reimbursements, or settlements under a Government contract to which it is allocable
UNAUTHORIZED COMMITMENT   An agreement that is not binding solely because the government representative who made it lacked the authority to enter into that agreement on behalf of the government.
UNICOR   Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (FPI) is also referred to as UNICOR. IT is a self-supporting, wholly-owned Government corporation of the District of Columbia. Agencies are encouraged to purchase FPI supplies and services to the maximum extent possible. See FAR Subpart 8.6.
UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE CONCEPT   When used relative to an unsolicited research proposal, means that-
  1. In the opinion and to the knowledge of the Government evaluator, the meritorious proposal-
    • Is the product of original thinking submitted confidentially by one source;
    • Contains new, novel, or changed concepts, approaches, or methods;
    • Was not submitted previously by another; and
    • Is not otherwise available within the Federal Government.
  2. In this context, the term does not mean that the source has the sole capability of performing the research.
UNIT PRICE   The net price to be paid by NIH for the item ordered, after discounts have been taken, exclusive of prompt payment discounts.
UNITED STATES   When used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States and the District of Columbia, except as follows:
  1. For use in FAR Subpart 22.8, see the definition at 22.801.
  2. For use in FAR Subpart 22.10, see the definition at 22.1001.
  3. For use in FAR Subpart 22.13, see the definition at 22.1301.
  4. For use in FAR Subpart 22.16, see the definition at 22.1601.
  5. For use in FAR Part 25, see the definition at 25.003.
  6. For use in FAR Subpart 47.4, see the definition at 47.401.
UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL   A written proposal for a new or innovative idea that is submitted to an agency on the initiative of the offeror for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the Government, and that is not in response to a request for proposals, Broad Agency Announcement, Small Business Innovation Research topic, Small Business Technology Transfer Research topic, Program Research and Development Announcement, or any other Government-initiated solicitation or program.
VALUE ANALYSIS   An analysis technique that gives insight into the relative worth of a product. The Government may use it in conjunction with the price analysis techniques listed in paragraph (b)(2) of FAR 15.404-1(b).
VENDOR   Any individual or other legal entity that may potentially do business with the Federal Government. Upon award of a contract, the vendor becomes a “contractor.”
  1. Not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more veterans (as defined at 38 U.S.C. 101(2)) or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more veterans; and
  2. The management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more veterans.
WARRANTY   A promise or affirmation given by a contractor to the Government regarding the nature, usefulness, or condition of the supplies or performance of services furnished under the contract.
WOMEN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN   A small business concern-
  1. That is at least 51 percent owned by one or more women; or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more women; and
  2. Whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women.