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Government Contracting Terms & Definitions

Glossary of Terms in U.S. Government & Politics

❶In pro-rep electoral systems the realistic quota to win a seat versus the theoretical quota. The right to vote.


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The legislative branch of government; elected by the people, also know as Congress responsible for proposing and passing laws. The executive branch of the government includes the president and the departments that help run the government.

The Judicial Branch of government is made up of all the national courts. There are a total of 27 amendments to the Constitution of the United States. After Congress passes a bill , it must go to the president to sign before it can become a law. After Congress passes a bill, it must go to the president to sign before it can become a law. The advertisement or invitation to bid, instructions to bidders, the bid form, and the proposed contract documents including any addenda issued prior to receipt of bids.

An arrangement under which a purchaser contracts with a vendor to provide the purchaser's requirements for an item s or a service, on an as-required and over-the-counter basis. Properly prepared, such an arrangement sets a limit on the period of time it is valid and the maximum amount of money that may be spent at one time or within a specified period and specifically identifies these persons authorized to accept goods.

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.

The primary Government repository for contractor information required for the conduct of business with the Government. It has been replaced by SAM. A certificate issued by the Small Business Administration SBA stating that the holder is "responsible" in terms of capability, competency, capacity, credit, integrity, perseverance, and tenacity for the purpose of receiving and performing a specific government contract.

A written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking, as a matter of right, the payment of money in a sum certain, the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or other relief arising under or relating to the contract. The process in which the awarding agency determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work of the award have been completed by the recipient and the awarding agency.

A procurement strategy where more than one contractor that is capable of performing the contract is solicited to submit an offer for supplies and services. The successful offeror is selected based on criteria established by the agency's contracting office and the program offices for which the work is to be performed.

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.

The management of all actions after the award of a contract that must be taken to assure compliance with the contract; e. 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. The term includes certain authorized representatives of the contracting officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the contracting officer. An individual or vendor that has entered into an agreement to provide goods or services to an agency.

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 factual, not judgmental; and are verifiable. 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. Contracts based on payment by an agency to a contractor of allowable, reasonable and allocable costs incurred in the contract performance to the extent prescribed in the contract.

These contracts may not require completion of the contract work, but rather the best efforts of the contractor. The types of cost reimbursement contracts include: An explicit arrangement under which the contractor bears some of the burden of reasonable, allocable, and allowable contract cost.

A notice, either oral or written, that informs the vendor that he or she is in default and states what the vendor has to do to correct the deficiency. The 9-digit number assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. A report or product that must be delivered to an agency by the contractor or by the sub to the prime contractor to satisfy contractual requirements. Any cost that is identified specifically with a particular final cost objective.

Direct costs are not limited to items that are incorporated in the end product as material or labor. Costs identified specifically with a contract are direct costs of that contract.

All costs identified specifically with other final cost objectives of the contractor are direct costs of those cost objectives. A contract provision that permits the adjustment of contract prices by an amount or percent if certain specified contingencies occur, such as changes in the vendor's raw material or labor costs.

An electronic database maintained and posted by the General Services Administration containing the list of all parties suspended, proposed for debarment, debarred, declared ineligible, or excluded or disqualified under the non-procurement common rule by agencies, Government corporations, or by the Government Accountability Office. The body of regulations that are the primary sources of authority governing the Federal government procurement process.

A "simplified" process for procuring commonly used supplies or services by placing delivery orders against Federal Supply Schedule contracts that have been awarded by the General Services Administration GSA for use by numerous Federal agencies. A type of contract that provides for a firm price or, under appropriate circumstances, for an adjustable price for the supplies or services being procured. This type of contract typically places the greater risk on the contractor. Free on board at destination; i.

Unless the contract provides otherwise, the seller or consignor is responsible for the cost of shipping and risk of loss. Free on board at origin; i. Unless the contract provides otherwise, the buyer or consignee is responsible for the cost of shipping and risk of loss. Provides that information is to be made available to the public either by publishing it in the Federal Register, providing an opportunity to read and copy records at convenient locations, or upon request, providing a copy of a reasonable described record.

When used with respect to a contract action, means that all responsible sources are permitted to compete. 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. A task-order or delivery-order contract for information technology established by one agency for Government-wide use. The GPE is located at http: A historically underutilized business zone that is an area located within one or more qualified census tracts, qualified nonmetropolitan counties, lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation, qualified base closure areas, or re-designated areas.

A type of contract in which the exact date of delivery or the exact quantity are not specified until a delivery or task order is issued. Any cost not directly identified with a single final cost objective, but identified with two or more final cost objectives or with at least one intermediate cost objective. 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.

Excluded from Government contracting and subcontracting, if appropriate pursuant to statutory, Executive order, or regulatory authority. A function that is so intimately related to the public interest as to mandate performance by Government employees. An association of two or more business entities to carry on a single business enterprise for profit for which purpose they combine their property, capital, efforts, skills and knowledge.

A sum stated in a contract to be paid as ascertained damages for failure to perform in accordance with the contract. The damage figure stipulated must be a reasonable estimate of the probable loss to the agency and not calculated simply to impose a penalty on the vendor.

The bidder whose bid is the lowest at a public bid opening. However, the lowest apparent bid must be verified and the bidder must comply with additional requirements to become the lowest responsible bidder i. An acquisition of supplies or services using simplified acquisition procedures, the aggregate amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold. A task-order or delivery-order contract established by one agency for use by Government agencies to obtain supplies and services.

It is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U. A response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offeror to perform the resultant contract. The former Government repository for contractor submitted representations and certifications required for the conduct of business with the Government. 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.

The termination of a part, but not all, of the work that has not been completed and accepted under a contract. An acquisition structured around the results to be achieved as opposed to the manner by which the work is to be performed. A statement of work for performance-based acquisitions that describes the required results in clear, specific and objective terms with measurable outcomes.

A contract that, by its express terms or as administered, makes the contractor personnel appear to be, in effect, Government employees. The procedures for obtaining goods or services, including all activities from the planning steps and preparation and processing of a requisition, through receipt and acceptance of delivery and processing of a final invoice for payment.

PTA Centers are designed to be a local resource available to provide assistance to business firms in marketing products and services to government. Translation of government for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of government for Arabic speakers Britannica.

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cooperative federalism - A term used to describe federalism for most of the twentieth century (and into the twenty-first), where the federal government and the states work closely together and are intertwined; also known as marble-cake federalism.

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Other Government and Politics Terms agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism GOVERNMENT Defined for English Language Learners.

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Term derived from the T.S. Eliot poem of that name in reference to the ‘men of straw’ described. honeymoon period The first few months of a new government during which the incumbent/s are granted a non-belligerent grace period . Students who are taking the AP U.S. Government Exam should memorize the following vocabulary terms. These important AP U.S. Government concepts are essential to your success on the AP U.S. Government (AP Gov) exam. Every important vocabulary word from Government By the People, broken down chapter-by-chapter for quick review.

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the branch of the United States government that makes laws The legislative branch of government; elected by the people, also know as Congress responsible for proposing and passing laws. executive branch. Start studying AP US Government and Politics Terms. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.