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Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)

Established as part of a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan. They must be realistic, stating the minimum standard, percentage of errors allowed, cost trade-offs, etc.

Best Value

The expected outcome of an acquisition that, in the Government’s estimation, provides the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement. It involves the analysis of technical and cost proposals to determine which proposal offers the best trade-off between price/cost and performance, where quality is considered an integral performance factor. See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 15.101.


A simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing “charge accounts” with qualified sources of supply. See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 13.303.s

Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS)

The Department of Defense (DOD) Enterprise Solution for collection of contractor past performance information and a web-enabled application that collects and manages the library of automated records of contractor's performance on Government contracts.

Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee Contract

A cost-reimbursement contract that provides for an initially-negotiated fee to be adjusted by a formula based on the relationship of total allowable costs to total target costs.

Cost-Plus-Award-Fee Contract

A cost-reimbursement contract that provides for a fee consisting of a base amount (which may be zero) fixed at the inception of the contract, plus an award amount (based upon a judgmental evaluation by the Government) that is sufficient to provide motivation for excellence in contract performance.

Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee Contract

A cost-reimbursement contract that provides for payment to the contractor, of a negotiated fee that is fixed at the inception of the contract. The fixed fee does not vary with actual cost, but may be adjusted as a result of changes in the work to be performed under the contract. This contract type permits contracting for efforts that might otherwise present too great a risk to contractors, but provides minimum incentive to contractors to control costs.

Cost-Reimbursement Contract

A contract that provides for the payment of allowable incurred costs, to the extent prescribed in the contract. These contracts establish an estimate of total cost for the purpose of obligating funds and establishing a ceiling, that the contractor may not exceed (except at its own risk) without the approval of the Contracting Officer. Cost-reimbursement contracts are only suitable for use when uncertainties in contract performance prevent sufficient accuracy in cost estimates to allow for the use of a fixed-price contract.

“Fair-Opportunity-to-be-Considered” Rule

All prime contractors (including their designated subcontractors, if applicable) are considered to possess the basic qualifications for success in the professional and technical services of the contracts awarded to them. Therefore, the statutory and regulatory requirement for “fair opportunity to be considered” (based on the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 16.5) will be deemed to have been met by the announcement (through the designated Internet web site or e-mail) of all Task Orders that do not fall under one of the exceptions at FAR 16.505(b) (2). Each Task Order will be evaluated, at a minimum, on selection criteria, which include past performance, technical/management approach, and price/cost.

Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA)

Public Law 103- 355 was enacted in October 1994, and was designed to simplify and streamline the federal procurement process. FASA raised the small purchase threshold from $25,000 to $100,000 and designated this as the simplified acquisition threshold.

Firm Fixed-Price Contract

A contract suitable for acquiring commercial items or for acquiring supplies or services on the basis of reasonable definite functional or detailed specifications, when the Contracting Officer can establish fair and reasonable prices at the outset.

HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) Small Business Concern

A small business concern that appears on the “List of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns” maintained by the Small Business Administration.


Used to encourage better contractor quality performance. They may be either positive, negative, or a combination of both. Incentives may also be monetary or non-monetary. Incentives do not need to be present in every performance-based contract as an additional fee structure. In a fi Us price contract, the incentives would be embodied in the pricing and the contractor could either maximize profit through effective performance, or have payments reduced because of failure to meet the performance standard.

Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE)

Assists the Task Order Contracting Officer in determining the reasonableness of a contractor’s cost and technical proposals. The IGCE is prepared by the requisitioner and submitted as part of the procurement request. It is for GOVERNMENT USE ONLY and should not be made available to the ProTech contractors. Requisitioners may obtain information for developing an IGCE from Section B of the ProTech contracts.

Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract

A contract for supplies/services that does not require or specify a fi– quantity of supplies/services (other than a minimum or maximum quantity) and/or is used when the exact times of future deliveries are not known at the time of contract award. IDIQ contracts are also known as delivery order or Task Order contracts that provide for the issuance of orders for the performance of tasks during the period of the contract.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

A producer/manufacturer that provides a product to its customers, who then proceed to modify or bundle the product before distributing it to their customers.

Performance Based Service Acquisition (PBSA)

The preferred method of contracting for services and supplies. PBSA is contracting for results, not just best efforts, and involves structuring all aspects of an acquisition around the purpose of the work to be performed. Essential elements of PBSA’s include: (1) performance requirements, expressed in either a Performance Work Statement or Statement of Objectives; (2) performance standards or measurements, which are criteria for determining whether the performance requirements are met; (3) appropriate performance incentives, either positive or negative; and (4) a surveillance plan that documents the Government’s approach to monitoring the contractor’s performance.

Performance Standards

Standards that establish the performance levels required by the Government. Examples of performance standards include: quality standards (condition, error rates, accuracy, form/function, reliability, maintainability), quantity standards (capacity, output, volume, amount), and timeliness standards (response times, delivery, completion times, milestones).

Performance Work Statement (PWS)

A type of work statement that provides performance standards to establish the performance levels required by the Government (e.g., quality standards, quantity standards, and timeliness standards), and incentives to encourage better quality performance (which may be either positive or negative, monetary or non-monetary). A PWS normally includes a Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan, defined below.

Purchase Requisition Package

The complete documentation package prepared and submitted by the Requiring Activity to initiate a Task Order request.

Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP)

Part of the Performance Work Statement. Its purpose is to set forth the Government’s expectations, as well as how (and how often) deliverables or services will be monitored and evaluated. A QASP may also contain incentives that encourage the contractor to exceed the performance standards, and that reduce payment or impose other negative incentives when the outputs/outcomes are below the performance standards.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A solicitation document used in negotiated procurements to communicate government requirements to prospective contractors and to solicit proposals (offers) from them.

Small Business Administration Procurement Center Representative (SBA PCR)

Procurement professionals, located in SBA area offices, responsible for the review and evaluation of small business programs in federal agencies and for assisting small businesses in obtaining federal contracts and subcontracts. An SBA PCR reviews proposed procurement opportunities and subcontracting plans to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A formal written agreement established between two parties: the contractor and the Government customer. It defines the expected level of services, the metrics associated with these services, acceptable and unacceptable service levels, and incentive awards for service levels exceeded and/or penalty provisions for services not provided.

Statement of Objectives (SOO)

A type of work statement that provides the basic, top-level objectives of a Task Order, and is provided in lieu of a Government-written Statement of Work or Performance Work Statement. It provides potential offerors the flexibility to develop cost-effective solutions and the opportunity to propose innovative alternatives for meeting the objectives.

Statement of Work (SOW)

A type of work statement that describes the need for the goods or services, the scope of work to be performed, applicable documents, specific tasks, deliverables and delivery schedule, Government-furnished property and information, place and period of performance, and security requirements.

Task Order (TO)

An order for services placed against an established contract or with Government sources. In the case of the ProTech acquisition, TOs are orders for services placed against contracts awarded under the ProTech solicitation.

Task Order Contracting Officer's Representative (TO COR)

TO COR is responsible for the task order activities involving initiating, awarding, administering, and closing out task orders. They will track and guide task order performance over the life of the task order.

Time-and-Materials Contract

A contract that provides for acquiring supplies or services on the basis of direct labor hours, at specified fixed hourly rates that include wages, overhead, general and administrative expenses, and profit; and materials at cost, including, if appropriate, material handling costs as part of material costs. A time-and-materials contract may be used only when it is not possible at the time the Task Order is executed to estimate accurately the extent or duration of the work, or to anticipate costs with any reasonable degree of confidence (See FAR 16.601).