Government insiders communicate in acronyms, and you need to speak their language if you want to build relationships and win business.

Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced professional, if you have any questions about the terms or need help contacting a decision maker, sign in and chat with us.

Understanding the steps and requirements to win government contracts is almost as important as knowing who to contact. Review the terms below, then use Leadership Connect to find the people in the government office that influence the buying decision.

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Procurement Terms

AcronymFull NameMeaning
ATOAuthority to OperateDesignated Approving Authority (DAA) authorizes operation of a Business Product and accepts the risk to agency operations
BAABroad Agency AnnouncementA general announcement of an agency’s research interest including criteria for selecting proposals and soliciting the participation of all offerors capable of satisfying the Government’s needs
BAFOBest and Final OfferThe last offer a contractor submits after negotiations
BOABasis of AwardThe customer or customer class that most resembles the purchasing habits of the federal government upon which GSA pricing was negotiated
BPABlanket Purchase AgreementAn agreement between a government buyer and a contractor to fill repetitive needs for supplies or services. Under a BPA, administrative/paperwork costs are reduced because terms are established up-front for subsequent repeat orders.
COContracting OfficerA person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings.
CORContracting Officer's RepresentativeA person designated in writing and authorized by the contracting officer to perform technical and administrative functions in the management of contracts. CORs work alongside program managers and contracting officers to monitor contract operation and performance. ACOR is the alternate for the COR.
COTRContracting Officer’s Technical RepresentativeA person designated in writing and authorized by the contracting officer to perform technical and administrative functions in the management of contracts. CORs work alongside program managers and contracting officers to monitor contract operation and performance.
DAADesignated Approving AuthoritySenior official or executive with the authority to formally assume responsibility for operating a system at an acceptable level of risk to organizational operations
F/OFull and OpenWhen companies of any size may respond to an RFP
FARFederal Acquisition RegulationThe primary document that codifies uniform policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies. Additional agency-specific procedures are established in related documents such as DFARs for Defense federal acquisition.
FASFederal Acquisition Service
FBOFedBizOppsFBO data moved to SAM and is now known as Contract Opportunities
FPDSFederal Procurement Data SystemAll federal contracts worth over $10,000, and their modifications, are recorded in FPDS
FSSFederal Supply Schedule
GWACGovernmentwide Acquisition ContractA multiple award, multiple delivery contract in which multiple agencies can purchase goods and services on a rolling basis within an established timeframe. GWACs are most commonly used for the purchasing of technology solutions for the purpose of lowering cost and increasing efficiency
IACInformation Analysis Center
ICDInteragency Contract DirectoryA directory of all awarded IDVs
IDCIndefinite Delivery ContractWhere the timing and quantities are unknown when the contract is awarded
IDIQIndefinite Delivery/Indefinite QuotientContract for an indefinite quantity of supplies or services during a fixed period of time
IDVIndefinite Delivery VehicleIncludes BPA, GWAC, and IDIQ; commonly used for service agreements and Interagency acquisitions
LPTALowest Price Technically Acceptable
MASMultiple Award ScheduleA type of long-term indefinite-quantity contract which is awarded to several contractors from a single solicitation, also known as Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)
NAICSNorth American Industry Classification SystemFederal agencies use NAICS codes as the standard for classifying businesses. The two digit version is most general, while the six digit version is the most specific. Businesses may be assigned multiple NAICS codes, especially when varied products or services are offered.
RFIRequest for InformationAn agency asking for general information about how a problem can be solved
RFPRequest for ProposalAn agency asking for vendors to submit a formal document for how they can solve a problem, when many factors are under consideration
RFQRequest for QuoteA quote is the estimated cost for meeting a specific need
SAMSystem for Award ManagementIn beta until April 2021, SAM is the official U.S. government website for federal contract opportunities and awards
SBSASmall Business Set AsideWhen only small businesses may respond to an RFP
SOWStatement of WorkThe activities, deliverables, and timelines for a service
SSSources SoughtSimilar to RFI, helps agency determine types of sources
SSJSole Source JustificationThe reason why a contract is sole source, which means it may be issued without a bidding process because there is only one possible vendor
VOSBVeteran-Owned Small BusinessSome contracts are set aside for these small businesses that are at least 51% owned and controlled by a veteran

Executive Office of the President [EOP]

CEACouncil of Economic Advisers
CEQCouncil on Environmental Quality
DPCDomestic Policy Council
EOPExecutive Office of the President
HSCHomeland Security Council
NECNational Economic Council
NSCNational Security Council
OAOffice of Administration
OFLOffice of the First Lady
OFPPOffice of Federal Procurement Policy
OMAOffice of Management and Administration
OMBOffice of Management and Budget
ONDCPOffice of National Drug Control Policy
OSTPOffice of Science and Technology Policy
OVPOffice of the Vice President
PIABPresident’s Intelligence Advisory Board
USDSUnited States Digital Service
USTROffice of the United States Trade Representative
WHMOWhite House Military Office
WHOWhite House Office

 

Federal Departments

DHSUnited States Department of Homeland Security
DOCUnited States Department of Commerce
DODUnited States Department of Defense
DOEUnited States Department of Energy
DOIUnited States Department of the Interior
DOJUnited States Department of Justice
DOLUnited States Department of Labor
DOSUnited States Department of State
DOTUnited States Department of Transportation
EDUnited States Department of Education
HHSUnited States Department of Health and Human Services
HUDUnited States Department of Housing and Urban Development
TREASUnited States Department of the Treasury
USDAUnited States Department of Agriculture
VAUnited States Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Federal Independent Agencies

AcronymFull Name
AbilityOneCommittee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled
ABMCAmerican Battle Monuments Commission
ACHPAdvisory Council on Historic Preservation
ACUSAdministrative Conference of the United States
AMTRAKNational Railroad Passenger Corporation
ARCAppalachian Regional Commission
ATBCBUnited States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board)
CCJJDPCoordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
CFAUnited States Commission of Fine Arts
CFTCCommodity Futures Trading Commission
CNCSCorporation for National and Community Service
CPSCUnited States Consumer Product Safety Commission
CSBUnited States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
CSOSACourt Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia
DNFSBDefense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
DRBCDelaware River Basin Commission
EACUnited States Election Assistance Commission
EEOCUnited States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
EPAUnited States Environmental Protection Agency
EXIMExport-Import Bank of the United States
FAIFederal Acquisition Institute
FASABFederal Accounting Standards Advisory Board
FCAFarm Credit Administration
FCCFederal Communications Commission
FCSICFarm Credit System Insurance Corporation
FDICFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FECUnited States of America Federal Election Commission
FHFAFederal Housing Finance Agency
FLCFederal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
FLRAUnited States Federal Labor Relations Authority
FMCFederal Maritime Commission
FMCSFederal Mediation and Conciliation Service
FMSHRCFederal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
FRSFederal Reserve System
FRTIBFederal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
FTCFederal Trade Commission
GSAUnited States General Services Administration
HMCUnited States Holocaust Memorial Museum
IAFInter-American Foundation
JMMFFJames Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation
JUSFCJapan - United States Friendship Commission
LSCLegal Services Corporation
MCCMillennium Challenge Corporation
MMCMarine Mammal Commission
MSPBUnited States Merit Systems Protection Board
NARAUnited States National Archives and Records Administration
NASANational Aeronautics and Space Administration
NCDNational Council on Disability
NCPCNational Capital Planning Commission
NCUANational Credit Union Administration
NeighborWorks® AmericaNeighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
NFAHNational Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
NLRBNational Labor Relations Board
NMBNational Mediation Board
NRCUnited States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
NSFNational Science Foundation
NTSBNational Transportation Safety Board
NWTRBUnited States Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
ODNIOffice of the Director of National Intelligence
OGEUnited States Office of Government Ethics
OPICOverseas Private Investment Corporation
OPMUnited States Office of Personnel Management
OSCUnited States Office of Special Counsel
OSHRCUnited States Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
PBGCPension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
PCPeace Corps
PCLOBPrivacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
PRCPostal Regulatory Commission
RRBUnited States Railroad Retirement Board
SBAUnited States Small Business Administration
SECUnited States Securities and Exchange Commission
SISmithsonian Institution
SIGARSpecial Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
SJIState Justice Institute
SRBCSusquehanna River Basin Commission
SSASocial Security Administration
SSABSocial Security Advisory Board
SSSSelective Service System
TVATennessee Valley Authority
USADFUnited States African Development Foundation
USAGMUnited States Agency for Global Media
USAIDUnited States Agency for International Development
USARCUnited States Arctic Research Commission
USCCRUnited States Commission on Civil Rights
USICHUnited States Interagency Council on Homelessness
USIPUnited States Institute of Peace
USITCUnited States International Trade Commission
USPSUnited States Postal Service
USTDAUnited States Trade and Development Agency
VEFVietnam Education Foundation

 

Federal Departmental Bureaus, Agencies

United States Department of Agriculture [USDA]

AMSAgricultural Marketing Service
APHISAnimal and Plant Health Inspection Service
ARSAgricultural Research Service
CNPPCenter for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
ERSEconomic Research Service
FASForeign Agricultural Service
FNSFood and Nutrition Service
FSForest Service
FSAFarm Service Agency
FSISFood Safety and Inspection Service
NASSNational Agricultural Statistics Service
NIFANational Institute of Food and Agriculture
NRCSNatural Resources Conservation Service
RBSRural Business-Cooperative Service
RHSRural Housing Service
RMARisk Management Agency
RUSRural Utilities Service

 

United States Department of Commerce [DOC]

BEABureau of Economic Analysis
BISBureau of Industry and Security
EDAEconomic Development Administration
ESAEconomics and Statistics Administration
ITAInternational Trade Administration
MBDAMinority Business Development Agency
NESDISNational Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
NISTNational Institute of Standards and Technology
NMFSNational Marine Fisheries Service
NOAANational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOSNational Ocean Service
NTIANational Telecommunications and Information Administration
NTISNational Technical Information Service
NWSNational Weather Service
USPTOU.S. Patent and Trademark Office

 

United States Department of Defense [DOD]

BUMEDBureau of Medicine and Surgery
CNRChief of Navy Reserve
DARPADefense Advanced Research Projects Agency
DAUDefense Acquisition University
DCAADefense Contract Audit Agency
DCMADefense Contract Management Agency
DeCADefense Commissary Agency
DFASDefense Finance and Accounting Service
DHADefense Health Agency
DHRADefense Human Resources Activity
DIADefense Intelligence Agency
DISADefense Information Systems Agency
DLADefense Logistics Agency
DLSADefense Legal Services Agency
DMADefense Media Activity
DMEADefense Microelectronics Activity
DODEADepartment of Defense Education Activity
DSCADefense Security Cooperation Agency
DSSDefense Security Service
DTRADefense Threat Reduction Agency
DTSADefense Technology Security Administration
JCSJoint Chiefs of Staff
MDAMissile Defense Agency
NGANational Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
NGBNational Guard Bureau
NRONational Reconnaissance Office
NSA/CSSNational Security Agency/Central Security Service
OSDOffice of the Secretary of Defense
PFPAPentagon Force Protection Agency
WHSWashington Headquarters Services

 

United States Department of Education [ED]

FSAOffice of Federal Student Aid
IESInstitute of Education Sciences
OCTAEOffice of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
OELAOffice of English Language Acquisition
OESEOffice of Elementary and Secondary Education
OIIOffice of Innovation and Improvement
OPEOffice of Postsecondary Education
OSERSOffice of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

 

United States Department of Energy [DOE]

AITOArtificial Intelligence and Technology Office
ARPA-EAdvanced Research Projects Agency – Energy
CIOffice of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
EEREAssistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
EIAU.S. Energy Information Administration
EMAssistant Secretary for Environmental Management
FERCFederal Energy Regulatory Commission
NNSANational Nuclear Security Administration
OICIOffice of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
OSDBUOffice of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

 

United States Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

ACFAdministration for Children and Families
ACLAdministration for Community Living
ACYFAdministration on Children, Youth and Families
AHRQAgency for Healthcare Research and Quality
AIDDAdministration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
ANAAdministration for Native Americans
AoAAdministration on Aging
ASAOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Administration
ASFROffice of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources
ASLOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation
ASPAOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
ASPEOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
ASPROffice of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
CDCCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
CMSCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services
DABDepartmental Appeals Board
FDAFood and Drug Administration
HRSAHealth Resources and Services Administration
IHSIndian Health Service
NIHNational Institutes of Health
NITAACNIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center
OASHOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Health
OMHAOffice of Medicare Hearings and Appeals
ONCOffice of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
ORROffice of Refugee Resettlement
SAMHSASubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

 

United States Department of Homeland Security [DHS]

CBPUnited States Customs and Border Protection
CISACybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
FEMAFederal Emergency Management Agency
FLETCFederal Law Enforcement Training Center
ICEUnited States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
TSATransportation Security Administration
USCGUnited States Coast Guard
USCISUnited States Citizenship and Immigration Services
USSSUnited States Secret Service

 

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD]

CPDAssistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development
FHAAssistant Secretary for Housing - Federal Housing Administration
FHEOAssistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Ginnie MaeGovernment National Mortgage Association
OHHLHCOffice of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control
PD&RAssistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research
PIHAssistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing

 

United States Department of the Interior [DOI]

BIABureau of Indian Affairs
BIEBureau of Indian Education
BLMBureau of Land Management
BOEMBureau Ocean Energy Management
BSEEBureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
FWSUnited States Fish and Wildlife Service
NPSNational Park Service
OSMREOffice of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
USBRBureau of Reclamation
USGSUnited States Geological Survey

 

United States Department of Justice [DOJ]

ATFBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
BOPFederal Bureau of Prisons
DEADrug Enforcement Administration
EOIRExecutive Office for Immigration Review
EOUSAExecutive Office for United States Attorneys
FBIFederal Bureau of Investigation
OPAOffice of the Pardon Attorney
USMSUnited States Marshals Service
USPCUnited States Parole Commission

 

United States Department of Labor [DOL]

BLSBureau of Labor Statistics
EBSAEmployee Benefits Security Administration
ETAEmployment and Training Administration
ILABBureau of International Labor Affairs
MSHAMine Safety and Health Administration
OSHAOccupational Safety and Health Administration
VETSVeterans' Employment and Training Service
WBWomen's Bureau

 

United States Department of State [DOS]

ABureau of Administration
AFBureau of African Affairs
AVCBureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance
BPBureau of Budget and Planning
CABureau of Consular Affairs
DRLBureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
DSBureau of Diplomatic Security
EAPBureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
EBBureau of Economic and Business Affairs
ECABureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
ENRBureau of Energy Resources
EURBureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
FSIForeign Service Institute
HRBureau of Human Resources
IIPBureau of International Information Programs
INLBureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
INRBureau of Intelligence and Research
IOBureau of International Organization Affairs
IRMBureau of Information Resource Management
ISNBureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
MEDBureau of Medical Services
NEABureau of Near Eastern Affairs
OBOBureau of Overseas Buildings Operations
OESBureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
PABureau of Public Affairs
PMBureau of Political-Military Affairs
PRMBureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
SCABureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
WHABureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

 

United States Department of Transportation [DOT]

BTSBureau of Transportation Statistics
FAAFederal Aviation Administration
FHWAFederal Highway Administration
FMCSAFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
FRAFederal Railroad Administration
FTAFederal Transit Administration
MARADMaritime Administration
NHTSANational Highway Traffic Safety Administration
OST-ROffice of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
PHMSAPipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
SLSDCSaint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
STBSurface Transportation Board

 

United States Department of the Treasury [TREAS]

BEPBureau of Engraving and Printing
BFSBureau of the Fiscal Service
IRSInternal Revenue Service
OCCOffice of the Comptroller of the Currency
SIGPROffice of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery
SIGTARPOffice of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program
TIGTATreasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
TTBAlcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

 

United States Department of Veterans Affairs [VA]

NCANational Cemetery Administration
OSDBUOffice of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
VBAVeterans Benefits Administration
VHAVeterans Health Administration