Government contracting terms are important to know when entering into a contract with the government. Before you decide to do business with any government agency, you’ll want to educate yourself on the types of contracts involving the government, along with the typical terms used when entering into such contracts.

8(a) Program

This program was established to assist minority and other small, disadvantaged businesses expand through federal contracts. Thus, eligible companies will be awarded government contracts on a noncompetitive basis. In order to apply for the 8(a) program, such businesses must first apply providing the reasons as to why they wish to be put on the list for government contracts. Thereafter, when government agencies are looking for outside vendors and/or suppliers, the agencies will view the 8(a) list and determine which business would be able to help.

A&E

A&E, also referred to as A/E, are those professional services conducted by an architect or engineer on behalf of a government agency. Such services must be performed by a licensed, registered, and certified professional in the industry.

Abstract of Title

This is a historical outline regarding ownership over a piece of property, dating back to the initial grant. The abstract of title will include information regarding the following:

1.Ownership

2.Mortgages obtained

3.Liens

4.Encumbrances

Acquisition

Acquisition is the acquiring of funds or supplies relating to the contract, which will be used by the government. Therefore, it is the acquiring of materials that will be used by the business conducting work for the government; it might also be acquiring money received from the government in relation to the work done. The period of acquisition begins when a government agency identifies what it needs. Thereafter, it will solicit and award a contract to a business. The agency will then draft a contract the business must sign. The contract itself will note the work to be done, along with when and how it must be done.

Addenda

An addenda is the supplemental bid or proposal for work to be done for the government. The government is the party requesting and issuing the addenda. For example, the business might bid to do work for a particular government agency. If that business is the winning bidder, the government will review the proposal and amend it as necessary. Addendas can include the following types of amendments:

1.Additional requirements

2.Corrections to original proposals

3.Changes in the bidding contract

Additive Alternate

This is a modified bid that results from additions made to an original bid by a business. Also referred to as an alternate bid, a business might engage in the competitive bidding process to win a contract for a particular government agency. After bidding, but before the bidding process is complete, the business might want to make additions, corrections, or amendments to the initial proposal that it made.

Advertisement for Bids

A government agency provides a published public notice soliciting bids for various projects that it might need help with. The publication is generally made on a website made available to those companies that are participants in the 8(a) program. After the advertisement is made, the bidding process begins.

Affiliates

An affiliation between companies exists when one company has control over another’s business affairs. For example, General Electric operates countless subsidiaries throughout the world.

Affirmative Action Program

This type of program requires equal opportunity in employment to minorities and women. This program is a requirement on all levels – federal, state, and local.

Appeal

An appeal is made by a party appealing a prior decision made by the other party. In this instance, it could be the company bidding, the government agency, or another third party. The appeal will seek a hearing to discuss the decision made, why it was made, and whether it was appropriate.

Appraisal

An appraisal is an estimate of the market value of a certain item. In the government contracting world, appraisals are made on pieces of land, property, and other facilities relating to a project.

Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA)

A BOA is a written contract that includes stock language used by a company when entering into a contract with any party. It is essentially a templated contract that will include basic terms and provisions, along with pricing methods, and how pricing might fluctuate based on the work being produced.

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