The language guide below defines words and phrases that are commonly used in our industry.

Acquisition

The act of acquiring goods and services (including construction) for the use of a governmental activity through purchase, rent, or lease. Includes the establishment of needs, description of requirements, selection of procurement method, selection of sources, solicitation of procurement, solicitation for offers, award of contract, financing, contraction administration, and related functions.


Automotive

Relating to or concerned with motor vehicles.


BPA (Blanket Purchase Agreement)

A contract under which a vendor agrees to provide goods or services on a purchase-on-demand basis. The contract generally establishes prices, terms, conditions, and the period covered (no quantities are specified); shipments are to be made as required by the purchaser.


Bill of Lading

A written receipt or contract, given by a carrier, showing a list of goods delivered to it for transportation. The straight bill of lading is a contract which provides for direct shipment to a consignee. The order bill of lading is negotiable; it enables a shipper to collect for a shipment before it reaches its destination (this is done by sending the original bill of lading with a draft drawn on the consignee through a bank). When the consignee receives the lading indicating that payment has been made, the lading will be surrendered to the carrier’s agent, and the carrier will then ship the goods to the consignee, and the bill of lading will be surrendered to the carrier.


Contractor

Independent entity that agrees to furnish certain number or quantity of goods, material, equipment, personnel, and/or services that meet or exceed stated requirements or specifications, at a mutually agreed upon price and within a specified timeframe to another independent entity called contractee, principal, or project owner.


CONUS

The contiguous United States; the 48 states excluding Alaska and Hawaii.


COO (Country of Origin)

The country of manufacture, production, or growth where an article or product comes from. There are differing rules of origin under various national laws and international treaties.


CPG (Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines)

Designates items that must contain recycled content when purchased by federal, state, and local agencies, or by contractors using appropriated federal funds, when these agencies spend more than $10,000 per year on any of the designated items. For example, if a state agency spends more than $10,000 per year on copy paper, and part of that money is from appropriated federal funds, then that state agency must follow the EPS guidelines and buy 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper. (Section 6002 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act [RCRA] and Presidential Executive Order 13101.)


DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement)

A supplement to the book of Federal Acquisition Regulations. This supplement pertains to federal acquisition regulations specific to the Department of Defense. The FAR and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) also apply to purchases and contracts by DoD contracting activities made in support of foreign military sales or North Atlantic Treaty Organization cooperative projects without regard to the nature or sources of funds obligated, unless otherwise specified in this regulation.


DLA (Defense Logistics Agency)

A combat support agency in the United States Department of Defense, with more than 26,000 civilian and military personnel throughout the world. Located in 48 states and 28 countries, DLA provides supplies to the military services and supports their acquisition of weapons, repair parts, and other materials.


Drop Shipment

Merchandise which is shipped by a manufacturer directly to a customer in response to the seller who collects orders but does not maintain an inventory.


EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)

The electronic interchange of business information using a standardized format; a process which allows one company to send information to another company electronically rather than with paper.


EPP (Environmentally Preferable Product)

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 toxins either disposed of or consumed.


Facilities Maintenance

Activities include keeping spaces, structures and infrastructure in proper operating condition in a routine, scheduled, or anticipated fashion to prevent failure and/or degradation.


Facilities Management

A professional management discipline focused upon the efficient and effective delivery of support services for the organizations that it serves.


Fair & Reasonable Pricing

This is the price point for a good or service that is fair to both parties involved in the transaction. This amount is based upon the agreed-upon conditions, promised quality, and timeliness of contract performance.


FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation)

Provides uniform acquisition policies and procedures for use by all executive agencies.


Fleet Maintenance

The process of keeping fleet vehicles operating in a good condition so that they are safe, reliable, and can stay on the road longer.


Gear

Equipment that is used for a particular purpose.


GSA (General Services Administration)

An independent agency of the United States government was established to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide, cost-minimizing policies and other management tasks.


Hazardous Waste

Any waste (solid, liquid, or gas) which because of its quantity, concentration, or chemical, physical, or infectious characteristics pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of.


IFB (Invitation to Bid)

This is an invitation to contractors or equipment suppliers to submit an offer on a specific project to be realized or product or service to be furnished. The IFB is focused on pricing, and not on ideas or concepts.


Industrial Supplies

Supplies for machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and warehousing industries.


Invoice

A list of goods or services sent to a purchaser showing information including prices, quantities, and shipping charges for payment.


Law Enforcement

Any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society.


Manufacturer

A business that makes or processes raw materials into a finished product.


Micro-purchase Threshold

This is an acquisition by the government of supplies or services that, because the aggregate is below a certain price, allows the government to avoid many of the ordinary competitive requirements under the FAR, including small business set-aside requirements.


MIL-STD, MIL-SPEC, or MilSpecs

Used to help achieve standardization objectives by the U.S. Department of Defense. Ensures products meet certain requirements, commonality, reliability, total cost of ownership, compatibility with logistics systems, and similar defense-related objectives.


Motor Pool

A group of motor vehicles centrally controlled (as by a governmental agency) and dispatched for use as needed.


MRO Supply (Maintenance, Repair & Operations)

Supplies consumed in the production process, but which do not either become part of the end product or are not central to the firm’s output. MRO items include consumables (such as cleaning, laboratory, or office supplies), industrial equipment (such as compressors, pumps, valves) and plant upkeep supplies (such as gaskets, lubricants, repair tools), and computers, fixtures, furniture, etc.


NAICS (North American Industry Classification System)

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.


National Security

Refers to the security of a nation state, including its citizens, economy, and institutions, and is regarded as a duty of government.


Net Price

Price after all discounts, rebates, etc., have been allowed.


NSN (National Stock Number/NATO Stock Number)

13-digit numeric code for identifying standardized material items. They are recognized by all NATO countries and the U.S. Department of Defense. Most commonly used for procurement, stocking, locating, and monitoring items.


OCONUS

Outside the contiguous United States; i.e. Alaska, Hawaii, and all other countries.


OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

A company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer.


OMR (Open Market Requisition)

The requisition document type used in MAPS Procurement to request the purchase of a non-contract item when the requested item’s estimated cost exceeds the authority for purchase level of the buyer. An OMR conveys the request for purchase to the person with the authority to purchase. The resulting order type is most often the Purchase Order Requisition (POR).


Packing List

A document which itemizes in detail the contents of a particular package or shipment.


Procurement

The combined functions of purchasing, inventory control, traffic and transportation, receiving, inspection, store keeping, and salvage and disposal operations.


Purchase Order

The signed written acceptance of the offer from the vendor. A purchase order serves as the legal and binding contract between both parties.


RFB (Request for Bid)

A solicitation in which the terms, conditions, and specifications are described, and responses are not subject to negotiation.


RFP (Request for Proposal)

To solicit a proposal, often made through a bidding process by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service, or valuable asset to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.


RFQ (Request for Quote)

A standard business process whose purpose is to invite suppliers into a bidding process to bid on specific products or services.


Simplified Acquisition Threshold

The amount of the purchase is at or below the micro-purchase threshold, except for purchases made under unusual and compelling urgency or in support of contingency operations. Agencies may establish higher dollar limitations for specific activities or items.


Solicitation

A solicitation is a written request for information; it is generally a request for quotation issued by a federal government agency. The solicitation specifies the provisions, contract clauses, and special requirements applicable to the quotation and resulting contract. A pre-solicitation is a request for information which may not have all the provisions, contract clauses, and special requirements defined; it is issued prior to the request for quote (solicitation).


Sustainment

The provision of personnel, logistic, and other support required to maintain and prolong operations or combat until successful accomplishment or revision of the mission or of the national objective.


TAA (Trade Agreement Act)

TAA is an Act of Congress that governs trade agreements negotiated between the United States and other countries under the Trade Act of 1974. Agencies may only acquire US-made or designated country end products or US or designated country services. Products/services offered under the VA Schedule Program that are end products/services of countries other than the United States or identified designated countries will not be considered for award.


Tactical

Relating to or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific military end.