Government Contract Terminology

Week 9 Blog: Government Terminology

During my 9 weeks at InQbation, I’ve been mostly focusing on our lab product SEOQ. However, I’ve had some glimpse into our other half: client work. As you can read on our site, our work is about 50% government focused. While writing some brief client case studies, I learned a bit of government terminology.

GSA: General Service Administration

This independent agency of the US Government helps support the basic functioning of the federal agencies. The GSA provides transportation and office space as well as supplying products and communications for these agencies.  GSA assists with procurement by maintaining GSA schedules (“pre-negotiated” contracts) so that government agencies can purchase them knowing all legal obligations are taken care of.

GSA Schedule:

GSA Schedules are contracts between the government agencies and commercial companies in order to provide commercial products and services at large volume discount pricing. There is about $50 billion a year in spending (about 10% of overall federal procurement spending). GSA heavily favors small businesses as they make up 80% of the GSA Multiple Award Schedule contractors. Visit their Vendor Toolbox to see if getting a GSA Schedule is in your company’s interests.

The GSA Schedule is awarded when the vendor submits an acceptable proposal to the federal government composed of two main parts. First is the basis of award customer/group of customers(customers whose sales are affected on the same terms and conditions as those with GSA) and second price reduction clause. This will guarantee that when there is competitive pressure, the vendor will reduce their price allowing the government to benefit.

FSS: Federal Supply Schedule Program
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

508 Compliance:

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation act requires all federal agencies to eliminate barriers in information technology. All disabled employees and members of the public must be able to access the electronic and information technology the same way as others. For example, every image or non-text object must have a text alternative element (i.e. images having an alt tag or a page that is not color dependent).

SBA: Small Business Administration

This government agency provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Their mission is “to maintain and strengthen the nation’s economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses” based on their 3C’s–capital, contracts and counseling.

Here’s a source for more government contract process terminology.