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Enter the contest! Win a book!

Vern Edwards

5,470 views

I am launching a contest. I will give a copy of The Government Contracts Reference Book, 4th ed., by Nash, O’Brien-DeBakey, and Schooner, published by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business and The George Washington University Law School, to the Wifcon member who writes the best set of definitions of the 20 terms (words and phrases) listed below. The Reference Book retails for $80.

The following words and phrases are commonly used by contracting practitioners and frequently used in regulations, guidebooks, handbooks, and contracts. A parenthetical entry beside the word or phrase gives usage context.

1. audit (as in proposal audit)

2. competition (as in competition improves quality and reduces prices)

3. complex (as in she’s working on a large, complex acquisition)

4. condition (as in terms and conditions)

5. contract term (as in they won’t accept that contract term)

6. cost (as in cost estimate)

7. dispute (as in a dispute must be handled under FAR 33.2)

8. equitable adjustment (as in they want an equitable adjustment)

9. evaluation factor (as in source selection evaluation factor)

10. fairly (as in COs must treat contractors fairly)

11. incentive (as in contractual incentive)

12. need (as in an acquisition should fulfill the Government’s needs)

13. profit (as in we offered them a fair profit)

14. purchase request package (as in the purchase request package was inadequate)

15. rating (as in evaluators will assign a proposal rating)

16. relative importance (as in evaluation factor relative importance)

17. requirement (as in the program office specified its requirements)

18. risk (as in contract performance risk)

19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis)

20. uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes)

None of those words and phrases is defined in FAR.

I will not accept dictionary or otherwise published definitions. The definitions must explain in your own words what you mean when you use those terms.

The qualities I am looking for in the definitions are:

(1) contextual appropriateness,

(2) clarity,

(3) definiteness (neither vague nor ambiguous),

(4) simplicity, and

(5) brevity.

Write enough to be clear, but don’t write dissertations. Write something that would make clear to a non-contracting person what you, as a contracting practitioner, mean when you use the selected words and phrases. Don’t substitute one vague word or phrase for another. Don’t define by giving examples. State attributes common to all instances of use.

For some background about definitions go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stipulative_definition

http://www.philosophypages.com/lg/e05.htm

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/philosophy/people/faculty/longworth/definitions.pdf

Here are my rules for the contest:

1. Participation is open to all Wifcon members.

2. You must define all 20 of the listed words and phrases.

3. You must post your definitions here, as a comment on this blog entry, for all to see. Do not submit your comments directly to me via email.

4. The deadline for submission is June 18 at midnight. The date and time of your submission are the date and time on the posted comment. Minor post-deadline edits are permitted, but not wholesale rewrites. I'll be the sole judge of whether a post-deadline edit is actually a rewrite.

5. Begin each definition as follows: [Word or phrase] means…

6. Each definition must be in your own words. You may collaborate with others in your office, but you cannot quote or reword a definition found in a published source, including government publications and board, court or GAO decisions. I’ll use the internet to check for quotes and close paraphrases.

7. In evaluating the submissions I will seek input from Don Mansfield and Emptor Cautus, two other Wifcon bloggers. However, I reserve the right to pick the winner based on my own opinion and to pick no winner if I think that none of the submissions is good enough.

8. By participating you agree that participation gives you no legal right to anything.

What would you say if someone were to ask you what you mean when you use any of those words or phrases? Could you answer immediately, or would you have to think about it for a while and maybe do some research?

Take a shot. What have you got to lose? It might be worth the effort just to develop your own thinking. Most of you post anonymously, so don't worry. Have fun with it and maybe you'll win an expensive book.



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Here are my submissions (Vern: you may want to specify whether reviewing other submissions is prohibited as a way of ensuring the originality of each effort).

1. audit (as in proposal audit) means a review of the offeror's accounting records and other documentation supporting the estimated costs identified in the proposal, for the purpose of assessing the accuracy of the estimated costs.

2. competition (as in competition improves quality and reduces prices) means two or more qualified offerors seeking award of a contract, where no offeror has an advantage that effectively precludes all other offerors from being awarded the contract.

3. complex (as in she’s working on a large, complex acquisition) means an acquisition that incorporates into one contract several different, difficult to achieve requirements.

4. condition (as in terms and conditions) means a written requirement of the contract specifying rules related to performance (see contract term).

5. contract term (as in they won’t accept that contract term) means a written requirement of the contract specifying rules related to performance (see condition).

6. cost (as in cost estimate) means an expenditure, either direct or indirect, to be incurred in performance of the contract.

7. dispute (as in a dispute must be handled under FAR 33.2) means a disagreement concerning the respective rights of the parties to the contract.

8. equitable adjustment (as in they want an equitable adjustment) means a change to the contract price, delivery schedule, or other term of the contract that fairly reflects a change in the performance requirements of the contract.

9. evaluation factor (as in source selection evaluation factor) means that which has been identified in the request for proposals as what will be compared among proposals to determine the proposal which offers the best value.

10. fairly (as in COs must treat contractors fairly) means to treat contractors without bias and to take actions without seeking an improper advantage to the Government.

11. incentive (as in contractual incentive) means something intended to improve contract performance.

12. need (as in an acquisition should fulfill the Government’s needs) means a supply or service required for performance of the Government agency's mission.

13. profit (as in we offered them a fair profit) means the payments received by the contractor in excess of the direct and indirect cost of performance.

14. purchase request package (as in the purchase request package was inadequate) means the documents submitted by the requiring activity to the contracting activity defining and justifying the acquisition.

15. rating (as in evaluators will assign a proposal rating) means the quantification of the results of the evaluation of the proposal.

16. relative importance (as in evaluation factor relative importance) means the significance of an evaluation factor compared to the other evaluation factors.

17. requirement (as in the program office specified its requirements) the specific need to be fulfilled by the acquisition.

18. risk (as in contract performance risk) means the potential for something to adversely affect performance of the contract.

19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis) means, when comparing two or more proposals, the determination whether the favorable aspects of one proposal outweigh the unfavorable aspects of that proposal.

20. uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes) means doubt that a specific performance outcome can be achieved.

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1. audit (as in proposal audit): “Audit” means a review of documents or systems for compliance with applicable requirements, statutes, regulations, rules, or procedures.

2. competition: (as in competition improves quality and reduces prices): “Competition” means multiple offerors vying for an award with the objective of establishing the lowest price/best value to the Government (depending upon the type of award identified, in accordance with Part 6 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation).

3. complex (as in she’s working on a large, complex acquisition): “Complex” means, with respect to acquisitions, procurements which may involve technologically sophisticated, state-of-the-art research and development acquisitions, and/or many contractual and programmatic risks and variables. They usually address mission-critical requirements of high monetary value, but smaller, less visible procurements can also be “complex.”

4. condition (as in terms and conditions) “Condition” means, in relation to government acquisitions, something upon which a contract is predicated. The “terms” of a contract are its overall requirements; the conditions (usually identified by conditional words or phrases such as “provided that . . .” or “in the event that . . .” or “if . . .”) describe the circumstances under which the terms are applicable, as in “I will paint your fence for a fee of $150 on Tuesday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, provided that it doesn’t rain,” or “the estimate price of this contract is $150, provided that no impediments to installation (such as wood rot or warping) are discovered when we remove your windows and doors.”

5. contract term: (as in they won’t accept that contract term): “Contract terms” means statements that stipulate the requirements of the contract, as in “NOFORN” (no foreign nationals are permitted to work on the contract at any tier, in accordance with its security requirements), or “Buy American” (FAR Part 25)or “payment NET 30.”

6. cost: (as in cost estimate): “Cost” means the actual expenses incurred in the production of a commodity or service before fee. Although “cost” is sometimes used interchangeably with “price” (“What will it cost me?”), in contracting, these terms have separate and distinct meanings. “Price” refers to those costs, plus profit or fee, for which an offeror is willing to sell an item or service.

7. dispute: (as in a dispute must be handled under FAR 33.2): “Dispute” means a disagreement or challenge at law regarding the meaning of a specific term or condition: “The agency promised to delivery Government-Furnished Equipment; we never promised that it would work,” vs. the Contractor’s reasonable assumption that any equipment supplied by the federal government would be in functional working order.

(Note: This example reflects an actual dispute in which I was involved between the U.S. Navy and a major aerospace corporation.)

8. equitable adjustment: (as in they want an equitable adjustment): “Equitable adjustment” means a modification to the agreement that establishes a “fair” (or equitable) increase or decrease in the quoted price based on circumstances or events that neither party could reasonably have predicted at the time of award. It can be positive (an increase in the contract price to cover some unforeseeable contingency) or negative (a decrease in the contract price to cover some unforeseeable but excusable insufficiency in the contractor’s performance for which it would otherwise be paid).

9. evaluation factor: (as in source selection evaluation factor): “Evaluation factor” means identification of the criteria by which submitted proposals will be judged. They may include technical factors (how well the submitted design or plan meets the requirements); performance factors (how closely the project plan and delivery schedule meet the stated criteria); economic factors (including the reasonableness and realism of the quoted cost/price; risk factors (the perceived ability of the contractor to meet or exceed the requirements of the contract); management factors (how well the contractor’s management plan comports with the agency’s knowledge of how the program should be managed); quality factors (how well the contractor seems to understand what is required, and has established means of ensuring that it is delivered); and programmatic factors (such as how well the labor categories and hours proposed will meet the likely requirements of the work to be performed). However: regardless of how reasonable a subsequently considered evaluation factor may seem, if it is not listed in the original evaluation criteria in the solicitation, it cannot be considered for award.

10. fairly: (as in COs must treat contractors fairly): “Fairly” means impartially, equitably, and without prejudice. In the vernacular, the CO must be careful to establish a “level playing field” in competition (so that all participants have equal advantage), and to deal honestly, ethically, and with the highest integrity in his or her interactions with awardees.

11. incentive: (as in contractual incentive): “Incentive” means a bonus or reward for meeting a stated contractual criterion, typically related to delivery or quality.

12. need (as in an acquisition should fulfill the Government’s needs): “Need” means a specific requirement for a service or commodity capable of meeting identified specifications or performing a stated task.

13. profit (as in we offered them a fair profit): “Profit” means remuneration over and above actual cost for successfully performing a service or producing and delivering goods. It differs from fee (which is the profit margin under a cost reimbursement contract) in that it is calculated as a percentage of total cost (and if the total cost increases as a result of changes in scope or other adjustments to the requirements, so does the dollar amount of profit). In a cost-type contract, fixed fee is only calculated as a percentage of cost to arrive at the original fee dollars; thenceforth, the dollar-amount of the fee thus derived remains the same, regardless of any increase in cost (so that the nominal percentage of fee shrinks as the costs increase).

14. purchase request package (as in the purchase request package was inadequate): “Purchase request package” means that document or group of documents that provides the authorized funding and approved specifications upon which a procurement is based. Also called an “acquisition package,” it includes all of the documents, data, and approved funding vehicles necessary to permit the acquisition team to obtain proposals and/or make an award for the required goods or services. Its contents vary with the size and complexity of the acquisition: a purchase request package for a Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) item might consist solely of a requisition form detailing the make, model, and manufacturer of the item(s) required, the need date, and the necessary management and accounting approvals, while a sophisticated IT development package could involve any number of technical documents (such as an Analysis of Alternatives, a Functional Requirements Document, an Operational Requirements Document, and a System Requirements Document, in addition to numerous technical and security specifications). Depending upon the status of the procurement, it may also include a market research report, an acquisition plan, an evaluation plan, a Justification of Other than Full and Open Competition, a Justification & Approval document, and other administrative records).

15. rating (as in evaluators will assign a proposal rating): “Rating” means a numerical or adjectival “grade” (as defined in FAR subpart 15.3) that ranks proposals according to their compliance with the stated evaluation factors. (It’s important to note that offers are never ranked against one another, in proposal evaluation; each must be evaluated on its own merits against the evaluation criteria established in the solicitation.)

16. relative importance (as in evaluation factor relative importance): “Relative importance” means how crucial one or more elements of the established evaluation criteria (for example, cost) is to the requiring activity, as compared to the others (quality, risk, management, delivery). In a critical acquisition for military requirements, delivery may be more important than price; in a state-of-the-art space mission, quality may eclipse both price and delivery; under sequestration, cost may be the primary issue; in a large integration project involving many components and contractors, management may take precedence; and in an environment in which funding is readily available, the requirement is not critical, and quality is fairly well established in the industry, all evaluation factors may be equal. It is, however, important to include a clear statement as to which of these scenarios applies in the resulting solicitation (see FAR subpart 15.3).

17. requirement (as in the program office specified its requirements): “Requirement” means a detailed description of the need for procurement of a specific service or commodity to fulfill a stated purpose or objective.

18. risk (as in contract performance risk): “Risk” means the possibility or probability that something unforeseen will prevent a contract from being executed as originally stipulated in the terms or conditions, whether the impediment is of a force majeure or financial, technical, administrative, programmatic, or economic nature.

19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis): “Tradeoff,” in contracting, means consideration of the value of one aspect of a proposal against another. (Proposal A is technically superior to Proposal B, but the differences don’t justify the increased cost; Proposal C is more economical than A or B, but at much greater risk; while Proposal D offers high quality at a reasonable price and low risk.)

20. uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes): “Uncertainty” in contracting means the inability of human beings to be absolutely confident about the future; to take into account and mitigate every conceivable risk associated with a contract; or to predict all future needs with pinpoint accuracy. The level of the buyer’s uncertainty about any critical consideration in an acquisition is frequently synonymous with “risk”—and in government contracting, the level of risk a contractor is willing to assume to ensure that the agency receives what it wants, the way it wants it, when it’s required, and at the agreed-to-price translates into the percentage of profit or fee the Government will be willing to grant. (Sometimes, though, the “uncertainty” factor relates to the agency’s inability to determine how much of something it will need, how often; in those cases, it will generally award an “indefinite quantity/indefinite delivery” or “requirements” contract to address such contingencies.)

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1. audit (as in proposal audit) in this context means a checklist type assessment, usually after receipt of proposal, of the degree to which an offeror or respondent has complied with each instruction, condition, and notice of the solicitation and a review that all proposal information required to be in the offeror’s proposal is included or otherwise available.

2. competition (as in competition improves quality and reduces prices) in this context means a presumption and belief that multiple bidders will offer the buyer the ability to select from a selection of offers the offer that best meets their needs. There is also a presumption and belief that bidders in a competition put forth more favorable offers than when they are in a sole source non-competitive procurement.

3. complex (as in she’s working on a large, complex acquisition) in this context means an acquisition that because of its particular circumstances has more exposure to risk and uncertainty and as result requires a higher degree of management, technical, financial and administration capabilities by both the government and contractor to successfully meet its objectives.

4. condition (as in terms and conditions) in this context means a particular happening or event that must be met usually as a precedent for the other party to fulfill their contractual obligation,. Terms and Conditions are often used interchangeably or in conjunction with each other.

5. contract term (as in they won’t accept that contract term) in this context means (see condition)

6. cost (as in cost estimate) in this context means a calculation or judgment of the value of something.

7. dispute (as in a dispute must be handled under FAR 33.2) in this context means a right of government prime contractors to seek redress under the procedures of the Contract Disputes Act of all material disagreements or issues in controversy that relate to their contract.

8. equitable adjustment (as in they want an equitable adjustment) in this context means a right of government prime contractors to seek a contract adjustment pursuant to the Changes clause. A denied REA can be disputed or submitted directly as a claim under the disputes process.

9. evaluation factor (as in source selection evaluation factor) in this context means the identification in the solicitation of the elements of each offeror’s proposal that will be assessed and used in the making of the decision to award a contract to a particular bidder.

10. fairly (as in COs must treat contractors fairly) in this context means that all rules and regulations of the acquisition process are complied with and that the award of a contract is proper.

11. incentive (as in contractual incentive) in this context means an inducement to the contractor to meet or exceed a contractual requirement. The terms and conditions of the incentive must be within the contract.

12. need (as in an acquisition should fulfill the Government’s needs) in this context means a governmental requirement for goods and/or services that can be properly funded and acquired in accordance with the Bona Fide Needs Rule, Misappropriations Act and the Anti-Deficiency Act.

13. profit (as in we offered them a fair profit) in this context means in monetary terms the actual resulting difference between revenue and cost.

14. purchase request package (as in the purchase request package was inadequate) in this context means a compilation of various documents to initiate a procurement action. Subject to specific Agency procedures it may include such things as: a description of the requirement, funding information, market research and an acquisition plan.

15. rating (as in evaluators will assign a proposal rating) in this context means the resultant assessment of an Evaluation Factor or group of Evaluation Factors.

16. relative importance (as in evaluation factor relative importance) in this context means the hierarchal sorting of the Evaluation Factors by their relevance and significance to each other in the making a contract award decision. The relative importance of the Evaluation Factors must be defined in the solicitation

17. requirement (as in the program office specified its requirements)

18. risk (as in contract performance risk) in this context means the degree and likely hood to which actual results may deviate from expected results.

19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis) in this context means a Best Value contract award approach whereby better value is measured against its cost (usually higher) and award is made to the bidder that offers the best value for the cost - an exact quantification of the dollar value of the bidder’s proposal's technical superiority is not required.

uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes) in this context means the degree to which the elements that create risk are unknown.

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I came across a great line in a Dean Koontz supernatural thriller that Vern had given me to read.

Stormy Llewellyn to her boyfriend, Odd Thomas, the title character of the novel: "The smart thing for you would be to stay away from adjectives altogether."

Yes, it's true; Vern's reading is not limited to books on acquisition and the classics.

This entry was posted with Vern's permission. Well, some of it had Vern's permission.

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Ulysses S. Grant used very few adjectives and adverbs that is a large reason for his success on the battlefield - because his officers knew exactly what to do when given their orders.

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Response from user MLCM, 13 Jun 2014:

1. audit (as in proposal audit)

A review of submitted cost and price data to ascertain completeness, accuracy and reasonableness of the data.

2. competition (as in competition improves quality and reduces prices)

The occurrence of two or more than one contractors proposing on a product or service.

3. complex (as in she’s working on a large, complex acquisition)

Adjective describing a noun and indicating that the noun is composed of many, interrelated or interconnected parts.

4. condition (as in terms and conditions)

A requirement that shall be met by one party so that that the second party shall then be required to meet their (the second party’s) obligation.

5. contract term (as in they won’t accept that contract term)

The length of the contract performance period, expressed in time, such as days, months, years, etc.

6. cost (as in cost estimate)

The value of the component parts of a whole, with profit added to the total amount that is computed.

7. dispute (as in a dispute must be handled under FAR 33.2)

A disagreement between two parties.

8. equitable adjustment (as in they want an equitable adjustment)

An agreement where a dispute or disagreement is settled that is mutually acceptable to both parties because the agreement is fair to both.

9. evaluation factor (as in source selection evaluation factor)

A criteria used to determine acceptability or non-acceptability of a contractor’s proposal.

10. fairly (as in COs must treat contractors fairly)

Adverb indicating equal treatment.

11. incentive (as in contractual incentive)

The possibility of a reward for a specified contract performance.

12. need (as in an acquisition should fulfill the Government’s needs)

The service or supply that the Government requires to enable it to sustain operations.

13. profit (as in we offered them a fair profit)

The reward that a contractor receives for completing a contract that does not go to pay any of the contractor’s expenses.

14. purchase request package (as in the purchase request package was inadequate)

The set of documents that describes or defines what the Government wants to buy.

15. rating (as in evaluators will assign a proposal rating)

The indicator that describes whether a proposal is acceptable or not acceptable.

16. relative importance (as in evaluation factor relative importance)

The comparison of two factors to each other that describes which of the two factors is more desirable.

17. requirement (as in the program office specified its requirements)

The service or supply that the Government wants to procure to enable it to sustain operations.

18. risk (as in contract performance risk)

The probability that an adverse future event will occur.

19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis)

The comparison of two factors where one factor can be chosen instead of the second factor, accompanied by critical thinking and reasoning supporting the choice.

20. uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes)

The possibility that an unknown event may occur that will jeopardize contract performance.

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1. audit (as in proposal audit) means a review that results in the identification of omissions, errors, and unacceptable components.
2. competition (as in competition improves quality and reduces prices) means a comparison of two or more contractors that are capable of providing for a requirement, in order to select a contact award winner.

3. complex (as in she’s working on a large, complex acquisition) means there are multiple and diverse features, which require a unique design and/or administration.

4. condition (as in terms and conditions) means an obligation that must be fulfilled before a contract is satisfied.

5. contract term (as in they won’t accept that contract term) means a part of the contract.
6. cost (as in cost estimate) means an expense that must be incurred to satisfy the contract requirements.

7. dispute (as in a dispute must be handled under FAR 33.2) means a disagreement between the contractor and the government that impacts a condition of a contract, and which one or more parties pursues for resolution.

8. equitable adjustment (as in they want an equitable adjustment) means an adjustment to the contract which re-balances the contract exchange of values for another change in the contract that has been accepted by both parties.
9. evaluation factor (as in source selection evaluation factor) means an attribute of the proposal that will be considered when making a contract award decision.
10. fairly (as in COs must treat contractors fairly) means treatment and consideration is made without an unstated bias, and communication is honest.
11. incentive (as in contractual incentive) means a contract term intended to encourage a contractor to provide for the requirement in a particular way.
12. need (as in an acquisition should fulfill the Government’s needs) means something that directly fulfills part of the governments’ mission.

13. profit (as in we offered them a fair profit) means the amount paid to a for-profit contractor that is in excess of all the contractor’s costs for performance of that contract.

14. purchase request package (as in the purchase request package was inadequate) means the information and funding needed for the preparation of a solicitation or contract award.
15. rating (as in evaluators will assign a proposal rating) means a description that easily identifies the estimated success an offer will have in fulfilling the contract requirements, when considering the evaluation factors stated in the solicitation.

16. relative importance (as in evaluation factor relative importance) means the importance of one factor compared to the importance of another factor or factors.
17. requirement (as in the program office specified its requirements) means the program offices definition of what will meet its needs.
18. risk (as in contract performance risk) means the likelihood of failure.
19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis) means weighing the value of differing technical benefits of different proposals against one another and against the cost/price of those benefits.

20. uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes) means what is not fully known.

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Enter the Contest! Win a Book!

Hereiskim

1. audit (as in proposal audit)

Audit means a report requested by the contracting officer to confirm or substantiate the veracity of elements in the contractor's proposal and/or supporting documentation by verifying same against their records and business structure as well as other industry data, the purpose of which is to ensure that the price/cost is predicated on legitimate data

2. competition (as in competition improves quality and reduces prices)

Competition means soliciting a multiple of contractors to obtain an adequate pool of technical/price proposals from offerors as a basis for a contract award backed by sound business decision

3. complex (as in she’s working on a large, complex acquisition)

Complex means an acquisition with a substantial amount of intricacies which require resolution or beg clarification/amplification by several members of an acquisition team which may include technical, legal or other specialists in order to produce a solicitation package and resultant contract without ambiguities and for which risks to both parties have been considered and mitigated proactively

4. condition (as in terms and conditions)

Condition means an intricate detail(s) in a contract which the contractor is legally bound to and which is critical/integral to the successful completion of the contract, such as the location of the contract

5. contract term (as in they won’t accept that contract term)

Contract term means the verbiage in a contract which is a complete sentence or theme, by which both contracting parties are legally bound

6. cost (as in cost estimate)

Cost means the total monetary value for a unit of supply, service, deliverable and/or the total monetary value of a contract if a lump sum

7. dispute (as in a dispute must be handled under FAR 33.2)

Dispute means the contracting parties do not agree on a contract matter and have reached an impasse or otherwise are unable to resolve the disagreement

8. equitable adjustment (as in they want an equitable adjustment)

Equitable adjustment means a request by either party to a contract to alter/amend the contract due to a perceived deviation to the terms, conditions or language of the contract which was caused by the other party (the resolution may or may not be a monetary adjustment to the contract)

9. evaluation factor (as in source selection evaluation factor)

Evaluation factor means a business practice, experience, theory or attribute deemed by the acquisition team as germaine to the successful completion of a certain contract requirement

10. fairly (as in COs must treat contractors fairly)

Fairly means even and temperate interaction with/of/toward the contractor using sound business acumen

11. incentive (as in contractual incentive)

Incentive means additional offer of monetary, material or service benefit(s) in exchange for exceeding the standards in a contract

12. need (as in an acquisition should fulfill the Government’s needs)

Need means the contract end user's (customer's) minimum requirement for a supply or service required for official business reasons with the caveat that the taxpayer is ultimately fiscally responsible

13. profit (as in we offered them a fair profit)

Profit means the contractor's disposable net income remaining after deducting the total received after final payment and a release of claims

14. purchase request package (as in the purchase request package was inadequate)

Purchase request package means the complete set of documentation compliant to legal, appropriations, FAR and other regulations and sufficient to solicit/contract the total solution responsive to the customer's exact needs at a fair and reasonable price to both parties

15. rating (as in evaluators will assign a proposal rating)

Rating means the number or value assigned by persons evaluating a proposal to assist the CO or SSA to make an informed, viable, responsible and appropriate selection decision based on the factors

16. relative importance (as in evaluation factor relative importance)

Relative importance means the weight that should be attributed to one evaluation factor in comparison to/as apposed to another

17. requirement (as in the program office specified its requirements)

Requirement means any tenet deemed essential by the customer to achieve a fully successful outcome of their need

18. risk (as in contract performance risk)\

Risk means the extent to which the contractor might fail to meet one or more requirements in a contract

19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis)

Tradeoff means identifying and documenting the "this" for "that" rationales and scenarios considered while comparing elements of proposals, including total cost, as their importance pertains to the advertised evaluation factors in a solicitation in order to recommend the best value award decision to the Contracting Officer

20. uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes)

Uncertainty means educated doubt based on past performance or other credible information with regard to a contractor's ability to satisfactorily complete the contract or an element of the contract

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PS – This was much harder than I thought it would be! It is definitely a great exercise and causes one to do some deep thinking. Thank you for the challenge.

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1. Audit means an examination, typically by the Defense Contract Audit Agency, of a contractor’s proposal to determine if it was prepared in accordance with acceptable accounting standards and to verify that it reflects the contractor’s normal practices and established rates. It may include a technical evaluation to determine if the material, labor, and technical approach proposed are consistent with the requirements of the solicitation and represent a reasonable solution.

2. Competition means that the ability to bid on a proposed contract is not restricted to a limited number of sources. This often results in improved quality and reduced prices because a contractor must offer the best combination of quality, price, and/or other factors to obtain the contract.

3. A complex acquisition means one that involves one or more of the following attributes:

a. Seeks to acquire a complicated product or service, usually of a high dollar value

b. Requires multiple evaluation factors to determine successful offeror

c. Requires rigorous negotiations with a sole source contractor to arrive at a satisfactory agreement

d. Requires in depth cost or price analysis to determine a fair and reasonable cost or price

e. Is going to involve numerous and onerous high level reviews and take a lot longer that it should to complete

4. A condition in a contract means a standard that must be met in order to qualify for contract award.

5. A contract term means a requirement that must be adhered to by the parties to that contract.

6. Cost means the amount of money, excluding profit or fee, necessary to fulfill the obligation of the contract.

7. A dispute means a material disagreement between the parties to a contract regarding the obligations of one or more of the parties under said contract.

8. An equitable adjustment means consideration (financial or otherwise) that a contractor receives for executing a change to its contract.

9. An evaluation factor means a defined capability or qualification that the Government deems important to the successful completion of the proposed. These factors, one of which must be cost or price, will be used by the Government to determine which offeror will be selected for award.

10. Treating contractors fairly means conducting business in an unbiased manner that does not give one contractor an unfair advantage over another and does not require performance outside of the terms of the contract without adequate compensation.

11. An incentive means additional compensation offered to a contractor for exceeding one or more requirements of the contract.

12. Need refers means some capacity that the Government has determined to be necessary in the conduct of Government business.

13. Profit is the difference between the total price of the contract and the cost of everything that is necessary to provide the goods or services required by the contract.

14. A purchase request package is a set of documents submitted to the Contracting Office by an organization with a need to buy goods or services. Theoretically it should sufficiently describe what is needed and provide an acceptable strategy for developing a contract to obtain the required goods or services. This is rarely the case.

15. A rating is a defined measurement of the attributes of a contractor’s proposal when compared against established evaluation criteria.

16. The relative importance of evaluation factors refers to a comparative ranking of those factors from most important to least important. This gives potential contractors information about which capabilities will be given the most weight when determining the outcome of the competition.

17. A requirement consists of the goods or services that are necessary to fulfill an established need of the Government.

18. Risk refers to the possibility of negative consequences resulting when a contractor does not perform as intended by the contract.

19. Tradeoff means the decision made, based on the established evaluation criteria by the person responsible for determining the outcome of a contract competition, about whether to pay more for better quality or performance.

20. Uncertainty relating to performance outcomes means that the results are not accurately or reliably predictable.

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I have posted all of the entries except one, by Jon Johnson, which I will post later today. We're judging them and will make a decision next week.

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Thanks to Vern for the learning opportunity! I am TOO LATE to compete for the prize but here's my entry regardless.

  1. audit (as in proposal audit)

The purpose of an audit is to provide requesters (generally Contracting Officers or Contracting Officer Representatives) with an opinion by the auditor regarding the audit objective. Audit procedures enable the auditor to form that opinion. Audit objectives may encompass the totality of the auditee’s (generally, the contractor’s) operations, and can range from evaluating estimated costs in a cost proposal to evaluating claimed costs for reasonableness, allocability, and allowability. Auditors also evaluate the efficacy of contractors’ internal controls as well as the efficiency of contractors’ operations.

2. competition (as in competition improves quality and reduces prices)

A contest between at least two independent parties for award of a contract or subcontract. Competition may exist even if there is only one party, if that party believes there is another party contesting for the award.

complex (as in she’s working on a large, complex acquisition)

A situation in which there are dynamic interplays of differing acquisition strategies which requires those involved to adapt historic behaviors and practices in order to succeed.

4. condition (as in terms and conditions)

A contract term, based on an operative fact, establishing an enforceable right or duty of one the contracting parties. Since it is based on operative fact, it is not a promise. Conditions may be precedent, subsequent, or concurrent with the legal relationship created by the contract.

5. contract term (as in they won’t accept that contract term)

An enforceable promise creating a duty for one of the contracting parties and a right for the other party.

6. cost (as in cost estimate)

An outlay incurred by a business enterprise to acquire and consume raw material, services, and/or capital goods, for the purpose of accomplishing the objectives of the business. Costs may be recorded on accounting books and records, or they may be imputed when permitted by statute or regulation.

7. dispute (as in a dispute must be handled under FAR 33.2)

A disagreement between the contracting parties regarding a duty or right, or regarding the compensation associated with a breach of a contractual duty or right.

8. equitable adjustment (as in they want an equitable adjustment)

An adjustment to contract price, or one of the contract terms and conditions, intended to make one of the parties whole from a change to the conditions initially contemplated by the contracting parties.

9. evaluation factor (as in source selection evaluation factor)

In a competition, a criterion by which the bidders or prospective offerors will be judged in order to determine the bidder/offeror that will be selected for award of a contract.

10. fairly (as in COs must treat contractors fairly)

Acting in accordance with the implied contractual duty of good faith and fair dealing by not breaking one’s word, avoiding obligations, misleading the other party or denying what the other party obviously understood to be the legal relationship created by the contract.

11. incentive (as in contractual incentive)

An enforceable promise by one party to provide a reward to the other party upon discharge of a contractual duty or obligation, designed to encourage performance of that duty or obligation.

12. need (as in an acquisition should fulfill the Government’s needs)

The expected outcome of a contract. The rationale for entering into a contract. A precedent condition.

13. profit (as in we offered them a fair profit)

The mathematical difference between sales price paid for contractual performance and the cost recorded to perform the contractual duties.

14. purchase request package (as in the purchase request package was inadequate)

Within the Federal government, a set of documents created by a requestor, intended to initiate a purchasing action. Generally, it includes a Statement of Work (SOW), an estimate of the anticipated award value, funding information, and appropriate authorizations.

15. rating (as in evaluators will assign a proposal rating)

In a competition, a shorthand or summary description of the result of the evaluation of a bidder/offeror’s proposal against an evaluation factor or criterion.

16. relative importance (as in evaluation factor relative importance)

A ratio comparing two or more evaluation factors/criteria intended to show the difference in weighting between them.

17. requirement (as in the program office specified its requirements)

The expected outcome of the contract action. The rationale for entering into the contract. A precedent condition.

18. risk (as in contract performance risk)

An event that, if it occurs, will negatively impact the expected contractual outcome. Risks can be quantified in terms of probability of occurrence and probable consequence of occurrence.

19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis)

An exchange where one aspect or quality of the desired outcome is changed in return for obtaining another aspect or quality.

20. uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes)

The inability to quantify risk to a satisfactory level.

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