Office of Acquisition and Logistics — Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contracting
This page is a comprehensive listing of VA FSS and Government acquisition related acronyms and definitions.
AbilityOne — A Federal program that provides employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other severe disabilities. Formerly known as JWOD (Javits-Wagner-O’Day) (http://www.abilityone.gov/)
ACH — Automated Clearing House
ADR — Alternative Dispute Resolution
ARO — After Receipt of Order
Balance Sheet — Reveals a company’s assets, liabilities, and net worth at a single point in time. A balance sheet is often described as a “snapshot of a company's financial condition.”
Best Price — The lowest net price at which an Offeror sells to its most favored customer or category of customers without regard to quantity, terms and conditions of the agreements, location, and whether the agreements are written or oral. If the price is a combination of various discounts/concessions (prompt payment, quantity, etc.), each type of discount/concessions should be fully identified and explained. (NOTE: This definition does not apply to Medicaid Rebate statute.)
Best Value — The expected outcome of an acquisition that, in the Government’s estimation, provides the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement. When determining “best value,” ordering activities may use one or a combination of source selection approaches, including lowest-price technically acceptable and/or trade-off processes.
BIS ’ Bureau of Industry and Security (http://www.bis.doc.gov)
BPA — Blanket Purchase Agreement
Blanket Purchase Agreement — A BPA is a simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing “charge accounts” with qualified sources of supplies.
Brand Name — A brand name item, whether available on one or more Schedule contracts, is an item peculiar to one manufacturer.
BRS — Business Resource Service
Bundled Contract — A contract where the requirements have been consolidated by bundling. See also “bundling.”
Bundling — 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 small business concerns.
CAE — Center for Acquisition Excellence (http://www.gsa.gov/centerforacquisitionexcellence/)
Catalog Price — 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 deals are currently, or were last, made to a significant number of buyers constituting the general public.
CCR — Central Contractor Registration (http://www.ccr.gov/)
Central Contractor Registration Database — The primary repository for contractor information required for the conduct of business with the Government. All VA FSS contractors are required to register annually.
CCST — Contract Catalog Search Tool (http://www.va.gov/nac/)
CDC — Center for Disease Control
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.
CICA — Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (http://www.thecre.com/fedlaw/legal25/253.htm)
Clinical Need — A waiver from the requirement to use the FSS program based on clinical need should normally be for specific exceptions, such as a specific need of an individual patient or group of patients, employees with special needs or allergies, etc.
CLO — Chief Logistics Officer
COC — Certificate of Competency (http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/gc/programs/gc_certificate_competency.html)
Commercial Item — 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: 1) has been sold, leased, or licensed to the general public or 2) has been offered for sale, lease, or license to the general public. (Full definition available at https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/Subpart%202_1.html)
Commercial Price List — Current, published (dated or otherwise identified) commercial descriptive catalog and/or price lists from which discounts are offered.
Commitments to Buy — An agreement to purchase a certain volume of items over a defined period of time.
Concession — A benefit, enhancement, or privilege (other than a discount), which either reduces the overall cost of a customer’s acquisition or encourages a customer to consummate purchase. Concessions include, but are not limited to freight allowance, extended warranty, extended price, guarantees, free installation, and bonus goods.
CONUS — Contiguous United States
Contiguous United States — 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia
Contract — A mutually binding legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish the supplies/services 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.
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 Modification — Any written change in the terms of a contract.
CO — Contracting Officer
Contracting Officer — A person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings.
Contractor Team Arrangement — An arrangement between two (2) or more Schedule contractors to work together to meet agency requirements.
COS — Chief of Staff
Covered Drugs — Innovator, single source/multiple sourced drugs marketed under a New Drug Approval (NDA) from FDA (including “authorized generics”) and biologics marketed under a BLA.
CPARS — Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (http://www.cpars.csd.disa.mil/cparsmain.htm)
CS — Contract Specialist
CTA — Contractor Team Arrangement (http://www.gsa.gov/contractorteamarrangements/)
Customer — Any entity, except the Federal Government that acquires supplies or services from the Offeror.
Current Ratio — Measures the degree to which current assets cover current liabilities.
DUNS — Data Universal Numbering System
Data Universal Numbering System — A 9-digit number assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. to identify unique business entities, which is used as the identification number for Federal contractors.
Debarment — Action taken by a debarring official under FAR 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.”
Delivery Order — An order for supplies placed against an established contractor or with Government sources.
Discount — A reduction to catalog prices (published or unpublished). Discounts include, but are not limited to rebates, quantity discounts, purchase option credits, and any other terms or conditions other than concessions, which reduce the amount of money a customer ultimately pays for goods or services ordered or received. Any net price lower than the list price (commercial price) is considered a “discount” by the percentage difference from the standard to the net price.
EDI — Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic Data Interchange — 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.
EIN — Employer Identification Number (see also Taxpayer Identification Number)
EFT — Electronic Funds Transfer
Electronic Funds Transfer — 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.
Eligible Ordering Activity — Eligible ordering activities are authorized to place task/delivery orders or establish Blanket Purchase Agreement against VA FSS contracts.
Executive Agency — An executive department, a military department, or any independent establishment within the meaning of 5 USC 101, 102, and 104(1) respectively, and any wholly owned Government corporation within the meaning of 31 USC 9101.
EPA — Economic Price Adjustment
EPLS — Excluded Parties List System (http://www.epls.gov/)
Fair & Reasonable Price — To be considered fair, a price must be in line with the fair market value of the contract deliverables and/or the total allowable cost of providing the deliverable that would have been incurred by a well managed, responsible firm using reasonably efficient and economical methods of performance, plus a reasonable profit. To be considered reasonable, a price must be one that a prudent and competent buyer would be willing to pay.
FAPIIS — Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System Government (http://www.ppirs.gov/fapiis.html)
FAPIIS — Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System Public (https://fapiis.ppirs.gov/)
FAR — Federal Acquisition regulation (https://www.acquisition.gov/far/)
FBO/FedBizOpps — Federal Business Opportunities (http://www.fbo.gov/)
FCP — Federal Ceiling Price
FDA — Food and Drug Administration
Federal Agency — Any executive agency or any independent establishment in the legislative or judicial branch of the Government, except the Senate, House of Representatives, and the Architect of the Capitol.
Federal Ceiling Price — The FCP is the maximum price that can be charged by a manufacturer during a calendar year for any covered drug that is ordered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Public Health Services, including Indian Health Services, and the Coast Guard. It is based on calculations provide by PL 102-585, Section 603, 38 USC 8126.
Final Proposal Revision — A document requested by the Government and provided by the offeror, upon conclusion of negotiations, containing the offeror’s final revisions to its proposal.— If accepted by the Government contracting officer, it documents the terms and conditions used to award the FSS contract.
FOB Free on Board
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) the point where the title for goods passes to the buyer or consignee.
FOB Destination The seller or consignor delivers the goods on the 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.
FOB Origin 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
FPR — Final Proposal Revision
FSC — Federal Supply Class
FSS — Federal Supply Schedule (http://www.fss.va.gov/)
FSS Pre-Award Review — The process used to ensure that a proposed contract conforms to the applicable laws and regulations, and established policies and procedures.
Full and Open Competition — When used with respect to a contract action, full and open competition means that all responsible sources are permitted to compete.
GAO — General Accountability Office (http://www.gao.gov/)
GSA — General Services Administration (http://www.gsa.gov/)
GSAM — General Services Administration Acquisition Manual (http://www.acquisition.gov/gsam/)
Historically Black College or University — An institution determined by the Secretary of Education to meet requirements of 34 CFR 608.2. For the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Coast Guard, the term also includes any nonprofit research institution that was an integral part of such a college or university before November 14, 1986.
HTME — High Tech Medical Equipment
HUBZone — Historically Underutilized Business Zone
HUBZone Small Business Concern — A historically underutilized business zone in an area located within one or more qualified census tracts, nonmetropolitan counties, or lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation. HUBZone small businesses appear on the List of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns maintained by the Small Business Administration.
Income Statement — A company’s financial statement that indicates how the revenue is transformed into the net income; it displays the revenues recognized for a specific period (typically 12 months) and the cost and expenses charged against these revenues. The purpose of the income statement is to show interested parties whether the company made or lost money during the reported period.
IDIQ — Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity
Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contract — An indefinite delivery contract is used to acquire supplies and/or services when the exact times of future deliveries are not known at the time of contract award. Indefinite Quantity contracts provides for an indefinite quantity, within stated limits, of supplies or services during a fixed period. The Government places orders for individual requirements. Quantity limits may be stated as number of units or as dollar values.
Inspection — Examining and testing supplies or services to determine whether they conform to contract requirements.
Invoice — A contractor’s bill or written request for payment under the contract for supplies delivered or services performed.
IRS — Internal Revenue Service (http://www.irs.gov/)
LH — Labor Hour
Like or Similar Items — An item that performs the same basic function as the specified item.
Limited Sources Order — A limited sources order occurs when an ordering activity restricts consideration of Schedule contractors to fewer than required under the applicable ordering procedures or restricts the order to an item particular to one manufacturer regardless if the item is available from one or more Schedule contractors.
MA — Master Agreement
Market Research — The process of collecting and analyzing information about the capabilities within the commercial market to satisfy agency needs.
MAS — Multiple Award Schedule
Master Agreement — The MA is an evergreen document that outlines the responsibilities of both parties, identifies penalties for non-conformance and provides for dispute resolution. The manufacturer’s signature of the MA and Pharmaceutical Pricing Agreement (PPA) indicates they will comply with the law and provide covered drugs to the Federal Supply Schedule at a price no higher than the calculated Federal Ceiling Price. The PPA lists the covered drugs by their 11 digit national drug code.
Maximum Order — The maximum order threshold represents the point where, given the dollar value of the potential order, the ordering activity shall seek a price reduction.
MFC — Most Favored Customer
MFG/MFR — Manufacturer
Micro-Purchase Threshold — $3,000 except for acquisitions subject to the Service Contract Act the threshold is $2,500.
MO — Maximum Order
Most Favored Customer — The customer or class of customer that receive(s) the best discount and/or price agreement on a given item from a supplier, regardless of terms and conditions. The term includes any entity which does business with the supplier. In MAS contracting, the Government’s negotiation objectives are developed based on a comparison of the MFC arrangement. This is a required disclosure.
MOU — Memorandum of Understanding
Multiple Award Schedule — Multiple Award Schedule contracts are the primary vehicle for Federal agencies to acquire commercial items. MAS contracts use commercial terms and conditions and leverage the Government’s buying power to achieve the best possible prices and terms for both customers and taxpayers.
NAC — National Acquisition Center (http://www.va.gov/oal/about/nac.asp)
NCS — National Contracts Service (http://www.va.gov/oal/about/nacNcs.asp)
NDA — New Drug Approval
Negotiation — Exchanges between the government and offerors that are undertaken with the intent of allowing the offeror to revise its proposal.
NFAMP — Non-Federal Average Manufacturer’s Price
Novation Agreement — A legal instrument executed by 1) the contractor (transferor), 2) Successor in interest (transfree), and 3) the Government. 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.
OAL&C — Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction (http://www.va.gov/oalc/)
OFAC — Office of Foreign Assets Control (http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/)
Offer — A response to a solicitation that, if accepted, binds the offeror to perform the resultant contract.
Offeror — An offeror or bidder.
OGA — Other Government Agency(ies)
Online Representations and Certifications Application — ORCA was developed as an Integrated Acquisition Environment E-Government initiative designed to reduce the administrative burden on vendors that must submit the same paper-based representations and certifications repeatedly for various solicitations. (https://orca.bpn.gov/)
Open & Continuous — Vendors may submit an offer at any time
Open Market — Item for sale that is not available for purchase from a Government contract vehicle (FSS, BPA, GWAC, etc.)
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 contractor, or may elect to extend the terms of the contract.
ORCA — Online Representations and Certifications Application (http://orca.bpn.gov/)
Ordering Activity — An activity that is authorized to place orders or establish Blanket Purchase Agreements against a VA FSS contract. See also, Eligible Ordering Activity.
OSDBU — Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (http://www.va.gov/osdbu/)
Partial Termination — Termination of part, but not all, of the work that has not been completed and accepted under an awarded Schedule contract or contract action.
Past Performance — An offeror’s or contractor’s performance on active and physically completed contracts.
PBA — Performance Based Acquisition
PBM — Pharmacy Benefits Management (http://www.pbm.va.gov/)
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.
Pharmaceutical Pricing Agreement — The Pharmaceutical Pricing Agreement is the manufacturer’s agreement to honor the calculated Federal Ceiling Price.
PL — Public Law 102-585 (38 USC 8126) (http://www.hrsa.gov/opa/pl102585.htm#603)
PNM — Price Negotiation Memorandum
PO — Purchase Order
PPA — Pharmaceutical Pricing Agreement
PPIRS — Past Performance Information Retrieval System (http://www.ppirs.gov/)
Price Analysis — The process of examining and evaluating an offered price without evaluating its separate cost elements and proposed profit.
Price Negotiation Memorandum — An internal Government form where the contracting officer documents significant facts or considerations controlling the establishment of its negotiation objectives, the negotiated agreement, and an explanation of any significant differences between the two positions.
Price Reduction — Before award of a contract, the Contracting Officer and the Offeror will agree upon (1) the customer (or category of customers) which will be the basis of award, and (2) the Government’s price or discount relationship to the identified customer (or category of customers). This relationship shall be maintained throughout the contract period. Any change in the Contractor’s commercial pricing or discount arrangement applicable to the identified customer (or category of customers) which disturbs this relationship shall constitute a price reduction.
Profit and Loss Statement — See Income Statement
Purchase Order — An offer by the Government to buy supplies or services.
QASP — Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan
RFP — Request for Proposal
RFQ — Request for Quotation
SBA — Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov/)
SCA — Service Contract Act
Schedule — A listing of companies that supply comparable commercial services and supplies through contracts awarded by the General Services Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
SDVOSB — Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
Service Contract Act — The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act applies to contracts whose principal purpose is to furnish services through the use of service employees. The SCA requires contractors and subcontractors performing Federal service contracts in excess of $2,500 to observe minimum wages, fringe benefits, and other employment standards. (http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-sca.htm)
Veteran-Owned Small Business — A small business concern in which: 1) not less than 51% is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans, or in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51% of the stock is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans (or eligible surviving spouse); and 2) the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans (or eligible surviving spouse), or in the case of a service-disabled veteran with a permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran.
SIN — Special item Number
Small Business Concern — A concern, including affiliates, that is independently owned and operated, not dominant in the 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. In verifying whether dominance exists consideration is given to: volume of business; number of employees; financial resources; competitive status or position; ownership or control of materials, processes, patents, license agreements, facilities, sales territory; and nature of business activity.
Small Disadvantaged Business Concern — A concern that represents, as part of its offer, that is a small business under the size standard applicable to the acquisition, and has received certification as a small disadvantaged business concern consistent with 13 CFR part 124, subpart B.
Solicitation — Any request to submit offers or quotations to the Government; or 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.
Solicitation Provision — A term or condition used only in solicitations and applying only before contract award.
SOW — Statement of Work
Statement of Work — A statement of work must be clear, precise, complete, concise, and include: the work to be performed, location of work, period of performance, deliverable schedule, applicable performance standards, and any other special requirements such as security clearances, travel, or special knowledge; etc.
Supplemental Agreement — A contract modification that is accomplished by the mutual action of the parties.
T&M — Time and Materials
Task Order — An order for services placed against an established contract or with Government sources.
Taxpayer Identification Number — The number required by the Internal Revenue Service 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.
TC — Tracking Customer
Termination for Convenience — The exercise of the Government’s right to completely or partially terminate performance of work under a contract when it is in the Government’s best interest.
Termination for Cause — The exercise of the Government’s right to completely or partially terminate a contract because of the contractor’s actual or anticipated failure to perform its contractual obligations.
TIN — Taxpayer Identification Number
Tracking Customer — Established at time of contract award, the Tracking Customer is a commercial customer or category of customer of the contractor whose pricing is tracked against the awarded FSS pricing. The purpose of selecting a tracking customer and a establishing a tracking ratio is to ensure that prices remain fair and reasonable throughout the life of the contract.
Tracking Ratio — The tracking ratio represents the relationship between the awarded FSS price and tracking customer price. The relationship is calculated by dividing the proposed FSS price by the Tracking Customer price. Changes to the tracking customer price that disturb the tracking ratio must be reported to the Government within 15 calendar days of the change.
UOM — Unit of Measure
USC — United States Code
VAAR — Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (http://www.va.gov/oamm/oa/ars/policyreg/vaar/)
VISN — Veteran Integrated Service Network (http://www.vacareers.va.gov/networks.cfm)
Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern — A small business concern in which 1) not less than 51% is owned by one or more veterans as defined in 38 USC 101(2), or in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51% of the stock is owned by one or more veterans; and 2) the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more veterans.
VHA — Veterans Health Administration (http://www.va.gov/health/)
VHCA — Veterans Health Care Act of 1992
VISN — Veterans Integrated Service Network
VOSB — Veteran-Owned Small Business
VSC — Vendor Support Center (http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100018)
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.
WD — Wage Determination
Women-Owned Small Business Concern — A small business concern in which 1) not less than 51% is owned by one or more women, or in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51% of the stock is owned by one or more women; and 2) the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women.
DISCLAIMER: This listing pertains to commonly used words and phrases associated with the VA Federal Supply Schedule Program and is not inclusive of every word or phrase within this program. General definitions are provided for reference only.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - 810 Vermont Avenue, NW - Washington, DC 20420
Reviewed/Updated Date: October 17, 2011