Federal Contracting Glossary

8(a) Business Development Program

The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Acquisition Central

Acquisition.gov combines federal acquisition content to one website for regulations, systems, resources, opportunities, and training.

Dun & Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number

A DUNS Number is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. Before you can bid on government and federal contracts, you must obtain a DUNS Number.

DAPA Registration

DAPA Registration is an agreement between DLA Troop Support and Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) Program suppliers. Registering in DAPA will allow your goods and/or services to be used through the MSPV, which in turn is supplied to the DLA. DAPA will create the selling price of a contractor’s services/goods and will legally allow the DLA to distribute the contractor’s products/services to government-wide customers.

Economically Disadvantaged

According to the SBA, “economically disadvantaged individuals are socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities.”

Federal Business Opportunities

A web portal which allows vendors to review and bid on federal procurement opportunities valued at $25,000.

Federal Procurement Data System

Provides opportunity for the government to better assess where its money is being spent, thereby offering opportunities to better determine how to most effectively and efficiently expend those resources.

General Services Administration (GSA)

The largest government-wide contracts are procured through the General Services Administration (GSA). Businesses list their available goods and services, which procurement officers can access. Instead of issuing an RFQ or RFP, a procurement officer simply can order goods and services directly from you. Think of the GSA Schedule as a catalog from which procurement officers can order for goods and services up to a certain value.

General Services Administration – Simplified Acquisition Program

The GSAP is a contracting program that US Federal Contractor Registration created to provide a business with valuable procurement outreach and small business simplified acquisition processing.

HUBZone Program

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The federal government has a goal of awarding 3 percent of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small business concerns.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code

The NAICS classifies business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. The NAICS industry codes define an establishment based on the activities in which it is primarily engaged; is production oriented (not product oriented); and categorizes businesses with others that have similar methods of production. NAICS codes are also used for administrative, contracting, and tax purposes.

Office of Management and Budget

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) oversees the performance of federal agencies, and administers the federal budget.

Past Performance

Your business’s past performance includes information about recently completed or ongoing contracts for the same or similar products and/or services. The request for quote (RFQ) or procurement solicitation will include information about the Past Performance information to include with your bid.

Past Performance Information Retrieval System

The single, authorized application to retrieve contractor performance information. PPIRS is a web-enabled, enterprise application that provides timely and pertinent contractor past performance information to the Department of Defense and Federal acquisition community for use in making source selection decisions.


Displays information about the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board’s activities.

Service-Disabeled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Program

The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 established an annual government-wide goal of awarding not less than 3 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards to small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans.Also, on December 16, 2003, the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 established a procurement program for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns (SDVOSBCs). This procurement program provides that federal contracting officers may restrict competition to SDVOSBCs and award a sole source or set-aside contract where certain criteria are met. The SBA established criteria that federal procurement officers must use when determining service-disabled veteran status; business ownership and control requirements; sole source and set-aside procurement opportunity guidelines; and protest and appeal procedures for SDVOSBC procurements.

Simplified Acquisition Program

The Simplified Acquisition Program is a program offered only by US Federal Contractor Registration. It is designed to help small businesses still in the dark about government contracting and help get them on the path to winning federal contracts.

This program streamlines the SAM registration process and gives enrolled members a government-branded website complete with business references, past performance, testimonials, business pictures, and more. It also includes registration in the SAM, if a business is not yet registered with it.

Small Business

The SBA defines a “small business” in terms of its average number of employees during the past 12 months, or average annual receipts over the past three years. As you register as a government contractor in the System for Award Management (SAM), you will also self-certify your business as small.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

Socially Disadvantaged

Under federal law, socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identification as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities According to the SBA, for purposes of the 8(a) Business Development program, the following individuals are presumed socially disadvantaged (called “presumed groups”): Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian American.

System for Award Management (SAM)

System for Award Management (SAM) is the required federal database that every vendor must be registered in to conduct business with the government.

USA Spending

Provides unprecedented transparency of Federal spending information. In addition to continuing to provide information on Federal prime contracts, grants, and loans, USASpending now also includes spending data on sub-awards to Federal grants and contracts in one searchable location.

Wide Area Workflow (WAWF)

The purpose of WAWF is to streamline communication (including reports and invoices) between a business and government agencies. Registering for WAWF also speeds up the payment process when a business has completed a contract. With WAWF, a government contractor can correct and/or resubmit rejected documents, receive e-mail notifications of awaiting actions, and view their status history with each federal agency for which they have conducted business.