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Status of the Contest and My Definitions

Vern Edwards


We are evaluating the entries and will announce a decision later this week. Thanks to all who made submissions. In the meantime, here are my definitions of the 20 terms.

1. audit (as in proposal audit)

Audit (n.) means an examination of a contractor’s records in order to verify information provided by the contractor in a proposal, invoice, voucher, request for equitable adjustment, or claim or to determine costs incurred.

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

Competition (n.) means [1] a formal contest in which two or more firms contend on a head-to-head basis for the award of a Government contract; [2] a market state in which multiple firms independently sell goods or services that are close substitutes for one another in specific applications.

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

Complex (adj.) means comprised of many interdependent parts that combine to perform as a whole, such that the performance of any one affects the performance of the whole.

4. condition (as in terms and conditions)

Condition (n.) means a contract term that requires that an event occur, or not occur, before a specific contractual obligation is imposed or a specific contractual right is conferred.

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

Contract term (n.) means any part of a contract that imposes an obligation or confers a right.

6. cost (as in cost estimate)

Cost (n.) means a measure, expressed in monetary terms, of resources that a contractor uses or consumes or of expenses that it incurs in the performance of a contract.

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

Dispute (n.) means a disagreement between the Government and a contractor that they have been unable to resolve.

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

Equitable adjustment (n.) means a modification of a contract term — usually, but not necessarily, the price, the estimated cost and fee, or the delivery schedule — that is made in order to compensate one of the parties for the effect of an act or omission by the other party.

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

Evaluation factor (n.) means an attribute (feature, quality, or characteristic) of an offeror or of its offer that provides value to the Government, either through its presence or its absence.

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

Fairly (adv.) means in a manner that is considered to be in accordance with widely accepted customs and standards applicable to the business at hand and to be appropriate under the circumstances.

11. incentive (as in contractual incentive)

Incentive (n.) means a contract term that is designed to motivate a contractor to do something or to refrain from doing something.

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

Need (n.) means the absence of something that is necessary for the fulfillment of an agency mission or specific task.

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

Profit (n.) means the difference between a contract price and the cost of contract performance.

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

Purchase request package (n.) means the information and documentation required from a requisitioner or requiring activity in order for a contracting officer to award a contract in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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

Rating (n.) means a symbolic expression — usually, but not necessarily, adjectival or numerical — that concisely summarizes more detailed information about how well or how poorly an offeror or its offer has performed in terms of an evaluation factor or set of evaluation factors.

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

Relative importance (n.) means the degree of an agency’s preference for one evaluation factor over others, assuming that the agency cannot get as much as it wants of each and that more of one means less of one or more of the others.

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

Requirement (n.) means what an agency specifies that it wants from a contractor in its performance of a contract.

18. risk (as in contract performance risk)

Risk (n.) means the exposure to a harmful possibility, formally expressed in terms of (1) a description of a specific contingent event, (2) a statement of the probability that the event will occur, and (3) a statement of the measure of harm that would be suffered if the event does occur.

19. tradeoff (as in source selection tradeoff analysis)

Tradeoff (n.) means a decision to forego getting some of one or more evaluation factors in order get more of another when it is not possible to get as much as is wanted of each.

20. uncertainty (as in uncertainty about performance outcomes)

Uncertainty (n.) means doubt about whether an event will occur, often expressed in terms of the probability that the event will occur (e.g., “a 50-50 chance”).


Recommended Comments

Wow, Vern. I was way off the mark on this one. Glad I never got around to finishing my definitions, which started as follows:

1. audit means a government review of company provided bits of information, truths, half-truths and outright lies, constructed to paint a story that needs to be sold. Generally followed by a phrase that includes an expletive, e.g., “Oh $^!*”

2. competition means a failure to adequately describe a customer requirement in a manner that directs a single solution from a single source -A requiring activity’s biggest fear and worst nightmare.

Have a great weekend!

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