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Office of Administration (OA)

Procurements FAQs


Question Answer
What are Simplified Acquisition Procedures? Simplified Acquisition Procedures are methods prescribed in Part 13 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations for the acquisition of supplies and services, including construction, research and development, and commercial items, the aggregate amount of which cannot exceed $150,000.
What types of supplies and/or services does the Office of Administration, Procurement Section buy?

Areas of procurement include, but are not limited to:

  • Awards, Plaques
  • ADP Supplies (i.e., diskettes, cables, etc.)
  • Books, Maps, and other publications
  • Brushes, paints, sealers and adhesives
  • Clothing, individual equipment and insignia
  • Education and training services
  • EEO investigators
  • Engravers
  • Flags
  • Furniture (waiver approval from GSA)
  • Hand tools
  • Hardware and abrasives
  • Installation, maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of equipment
  • Lease or rental of equipment
  • Lease or rental of facilities
  • Lumber, millwork, plywood, and veneer
  • Maintenance, repair, and alteration of real property
  • Materials handling equipment
  • Measuring tools
  • Minor Construction
  • Office machines, text processing system, and visible record equipment
  • Photographic equipment, mapping
What consists of a complete procurement package? A complete procurement package consists of Market Research, Statement of Work, Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE), any Justification & Approval of Determination & Finding (if required), and the Purchase Request document (2237).
How long does it typically take to award a contract? The Procurement Administrative Lead Time (PALT) is our record of performance. We depend on meeting acquisition milestones in order to be timely in awards. Timing depends on the package submitted to us and the complexity of the requirement. For most requirements, award times range from 45 to 90 days after receipt of a “ready” procurement package.
Do we have to go with the lowest bidder? There are a number of factors that are used in making an award. Product quality, delivery time, environmental impact, and vendor ability are a few of these criteria. The lowest bidder that meets all the requirements usually gets the award. Awards to other than the lowest bidder meeting all requirements must be well justified.
Can I buy promotional items (give-aways) for my upcoming conference? No. A memorandum issued by VA Chief of Staff John R. Gingrich, effective March 12, 2012, stated that no funds should be expended for promotional items intended for distribution to employees. Promotional items previously purchased and on-hand may be distributed until exhausted, but should not be replenished.
What is the CCR and does a potential vendor need to be registered? Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is the primary registrant database for the U.S. Federal Government. The CCR collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions, including Federal agency contract and assistance awards. Please note that the term "assistance awards" includes grants, cooperative agreements and other forms of federal assistance. Whether applying for assistance awards, contracts, or other business opportunities, all entities are considered "registrants". Both current and potential federal government registrants are required to register in CCR in order to be awarded contracts by the federal government. Registrants are required to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. Registrants must update or renew their registration at least once per year to maintain an active status. In addition, entities (private non-profits, educational organizations, state and regional agencies, etc.) that apply for assistance awards from the Federal Government through (Grants.gov) must now register with CCR as well. However, registration in no way guarantees that a contract or assistance award will be awarded. CCR validates the registrant information and electronically shares the secure and encrypted data with the federal agencies finance offices to facilitate paperless payments through electronic funds transfer (EFT). Additionally, CCR shares the data with federal government procurement and electronic business systems
When I use my Government-wide commercial purchase card, does the vendor need to be registered in the CCR? In accordance to FAR 13.201(h), When using the Government-wide commercial purchase card as a method of payment, purchases at or below the micro-purchase threshold are exempt from verification in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database as to whether the contractor has a delinquent debt subject to collection under the Treasury Offset Program (TOP).
What is a DUNS number, and why do prospective vendors need it? DUNS stands for Data Universal Numbering System and is used by the government to identify each contractor and their location(s). The number is also required to register with the Central Contractor Register (CCR) that is used by the government's Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data Interchange (EC/EDI) system called FACNET. If you do not have a DUNS number, the government has an arrangement with Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) to provide one at no cost. Vendors can contact D&B at 800-333-0505.
What is a NAICS code? The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the collection, analysis, and publication of statistical data related to the business economy of the United States. NAICS was developed under the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and adopted in 1997 to replace the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. You may access various NAICS reference files and tools at the official U.S. Government Web site (http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/). The official 2007 U.S. NAICS Manual includes definitions for each industry, background information, tables showing changes between 2002 and 2007, and a comprehensive index. The official 2007 U.S. NAICS Manual is available in print and on CD-ROM from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at (800) 553-6847 or (703) 605-6000, or through the NTIS Web site.
What is FedBizOpps? (www.FedBizOpps.gov) is the single federal government point-of-entry (GPE) for Federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000. Government buyers are able to publicize their business opportunities by posting information directly to FedBizOpps via the Internet. Through the website, commercial vendors seeking Federal markets for their products and services can search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire Federal contracting community.