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Handbook 09-16
July 2009

Appendix H

Common Terms and Acronyms

Common Terms and Acronyms

Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA): Agreements negotiated on a bilateral basis with U.S. allies or coalition partners that allow U.S. forces to exchange most common types of support including food, fuel, transportation, ammunition, and equipment. Authority to negotiate these agreements is usually delegated to the combatant commander by the Secretary of Defense. Authority to execute these agreements lies with the Secretary of Defense and may or may not be delegated. Governed by legal guidelines, these agreements are used for contingencies, peacekeeping operations, unforeseen emergencies, or exercises to correct logistic deficiencies that cannot be adequately corrected by national means. The support received or given is reimbursed under the conditions of the ACSA. See also “cross-servicing” and “servicing” (Joint Publication [JP] 1-02, Department of Defense [DOD] Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; and JP 4-07, Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Common-User Logistics During Joint Operations). 

Acquisition Requirement Board (ARB): A requirements process board formed to approve and prioritize designated related high-value and/or high-visibility requirements and determine the proper source of support for these requirements.

Administrative contracting officer (ACO): A contracting officer who administers contracts. 

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR): Any type of procedure or combination of procedures used voluntarily to resolve issues in controversy. These procedures may include but are not limited to conciliation, facilitation, mediation, fact-finding, mini-trials, arbitration, and use of ombudsmen. 

Bilateral modification: A contract modification (supplemental agreement) that is signed by the contractor and the contracting officer. 

Blanket purchase agreement (BPA): A simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing “charge accounts” with qualified sources of supply. 

Chief of the contracting office (COCO): Any person who has direct managerial responsibility for the operation of a contracting office. Unless specifically excepted, this term may include, at the option of the designated official, the deputy chief or acting chief of the contracting office.

Civil augmentation program (CAP): Standing, long-term contracts designed to augment service logistic capabilities with contract support in both preplanned and short-notice contingencies. Examples include U.S. Army Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program, U.S. Air Force Contract Augmentation Program, and U.S. Navy Construction Capabilities Contract. See also “contingency” (JP 1-02 and JP 4-07).

Claim: A written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking, as a matter of right, the payment of money in a sum certain, the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or other relief arising under or relating to the contract. The submission may be converted to a claim by written notice to the converting officer if it is disputed either as to liability or amount or is not acted upon in a reasonable time.

Combatant commander (COCOM): A commander of one of the unified or specified combatant commands established by the President. Also called CCDR. See also “combatant command,” “specified combatant command,” and “unified combatant command” (JP 3-0, Joint Operations; and JP 1-02). 

Contracting officer’s representative (COR): An individual designated and authorized in writing by the contracting officer to perform specific technical or administrative functions. 

Contracting support plan (CSP): The mechanism for planning contracting support for the operation. The CSP ensures that contracting personnel conduct advance planning, preparation, and coordination to support deployed forces, and that contracting plans and procedures are known and included in overall operational plans.

Contingency contracting officer (CCO): A person with delegated contracting authority to enter into, administer, and terminate contracts on behalf of the government in support of a local contingency, steady-state deployments, or other contingency operations. The CCO also acts as the primary business advisor to the deployed or on-scene commander.

Contingency operation: A military operation that is either: (a) designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which members of the Armed Forces are or may become involved in military actions, operations, or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against an opposing force; or (b) created by operation of law (Title 10, United States Code, Section 101[a][13]).

Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA): An independent contract support agency within the DOD. The DCMA serves as the DOD’s contract manager. The DCMA is responsible for ensuring federal acquisition programs (systems, supplies, and services) are delivered on time, delivered within projected cost or price, and meet performance requirements. For more information, go online to <http://www.dcma.mil/>.

Delivery order (DO): An order for supplies placed against an established contract or with government sources.

Dispute: A disagreement between the contractor and contracting officer regarding the rights of the parties under a contract.

Equitable adjustment: A fair price adjustment under a contract clause for changed work, including an adjustment for profit; a change in the delivery schedule, if appropriate; and a change in any other affected terms of the contract.

Executive agent: A term used to indicate a delegation of authority by the Secretary of Defense to a subordinate to act on the Secretary’s behalf. Designation as an executive agent, in and of itself, confers no authority. The exact nature and scope of the authority delegated must be stated in the document designating the executive agent. An executive agent may be limited to providing only administration and support or coordinating common functions; however, an executive agent may be delegated authority, direction, and control over specified resources for specified purposes.

Executive agency: Instrumentality of the U.S. government bound by the Federal Acquisition Regulations. Executive agencies include the executive departments, the military departments, any independent establishment, and any wholly-owned government corporation within the meaning of Title 31, United States Code, Section 102.

External support contracts: Prearranged contingency contracts or contracts awarded during the contingency from service contracting authorities external to the operational area. The largest contracts of these types have been the services’ civilian/contract augmentation programs.

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR): The FAR apply to all acquisitions throughout the government. The FAR may be supplemented by various government agencies to further define the FAR’s agency-specific guidance.

Field ordering officer (FOO): An individual who has been authorized by the contracting officer in writing to execute micro-purchases by using Standard Form (SF) 44, Purchase Order–Invoice–Voucher. 

Fragmentary order (FRAGO): An abbreviated form of an operation order (OPORD) that is issued as needed after an OPORD to change or modify the OPORD or to execute a branch or sequel to the OPORD.

Government-Wide Commercial Program Card (GPC): A purchase card similar to a commercial credit card that is issued to authorized agency personnel to use to acquire and to pay for supplies and services. 

Government-furnished property (GFP): Property in the possession of or directly acquired by the government and subsequently made available to the contractor.

Government Services Agency (GSA): An agency in the executive branch with the function of procuring supplies and services (including construction) that are used in common by many agencies. 

Head of the contracting activity (HCA): The official who has overall responsibility for managing the contracting activity.

Host nation support agreement (HNSA): A basic support agreement normally conducted at government-to-government or government-to-combatant commander level. These agreements may include general agreements, umbrella agreements, and memoranda of understanding.

Humanitarian or peacekeeping operation: A military operation in support of humanitarian or foreign disaster assistance or in support of a peacekeeping operation under Chapter VI or VII of the Charter of the United Nations. The term does not include routine training, force rotation, or stationing. 

Imprest fund: A cash fund of a fixed amount established through an advance of funds without appropriation change to an authorized imprest fund cashier to effect immediate cash payments of relatively small amounts for authorized purchases of supplies and nonpersonal services.

Indefinite-delivery type contract: A type of contract used for procurements where the exact time of delivery is not known at time of contracting.

Inter-Service Support Agreement (ISSA): Formal, long-term, or operational-specific support agreements between services, DOD, and/or non-DOD agencies governed by DOD Instruction 4000.19, Interservice and Intragovernmental Support. These agreements, normally developed at the service secretariat and governmental agency director level, document funding and reimbursement procedures as well as standards of support between the supplying and receiving service or agencies. Although they are binding service-level agreements, interservice and intragovernmental agreements do not connote DOD-level executive agent responsibilities. 

Joint Contracting Support Board (JCSB): The primary purpose of the JCSB is to function as a coordination/deconfliction activity for contracting in the joint operations area (JOA). The goal of the JCSB is to maximize the contracting capabilities of the JOA while minimizing the competition for limited vendor capabilities. The JCSB also establishes specific theater and external support contracting procedures and reporting requirements.

Joint forces commander (JFC): A general term applied to a combatant commander, subunified commander, or joint task force commander authorized to exercise combatant command (command authority) or operational control over a joint force. 

Joint operations area (JOA): An area of land, sea, and airspace defined by a geographic combatant commander or subordinate unified commander in which a joint force commander (normally a joint task force commander) conducts military operations to accomplish a specific mission.

Memorandum of understanding (MOU): An agreement of cooperation between organizations defining the roles and responsibilities of each organization in relation to the other or others with respect to an issue over which the organizations have concurrent jurisdiction.

Non-appropriated fund (NAF): Funds generated by DOD military and civilian personnel and their dependents and used to augment funds appropriated by the Congress to provide a comprehensive morale, welfare, recreation, religion, and education program to improve the well-being of military and civilian personnel and their dependents.

Pecuniary Liability Statement: A statement that a paying agent signs making him/her aware of his/her oblication to make good any lost, damaged, or destroyed property or funds resulting fault or neglect.

Performance work statement (PWS): A statement of work for performance-based acquisitions that describes the required results in clear, specific, and objective terms with measurable outcomes. 

Ratification: The act of approving an unauthorized commitment by an official who has the required authority. 

Reach-back: The process of obtaining products, services, applications, forces, equipment, or material from organizations that are not forward deployed. 

Replacement in kind (RIK): A type of payment on an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement in which a logistic support, supplies, and services (LSSS) transfer is made with repayment by providing the same kind of LSSS at a later date.

Request for proposals (RFPs): Used in negotiated acquisitions to communicate government requirements to prospective contractors and to solicit proposals.

Senior contracting official (SCO): Lead service- or joint command-designated contracting official who has direct managerial responsibility over theater-support contracting. There may be multiple SCOs in the same operational area based on mission or regional focus.

Simplified acquisition procedure (SAP): The method for making purchases of supplies or services. 

Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): An agreement that defines the legal position of a visiting military force deployed in the territory of a friendly state. Agreements delineating the status of visiting military forces may be bilateral or multilateral. Provisions pertaining to the status of visiting forces may be set forth in a separate agreement, or they may form a part of a more comprehensive agreement. These provisions describe how the authorities of a visiting force may control members of that force and the amenability of the force or its members to the local law or to the authority of local officials. To the extent that agreements delineate matters affecting the relations between a military force and civilian authorities and population, SOFAs may be considered civil affairs agreements.

System support contractors: Contract personnel, normally with high levels of technical expertise, hired to support specific military systems. See also “external support contractors” and “theater support contractors.”

System support contract: Prearranged contracts awarded by service acquisition program management offices that provide technical support; maintenance support; and, in some cases, Class IX support for selected military weapons and support systems. System support contracts are routinely put in place to provide support to newly fielded weapon systems, including aircraft, land combat vehicles, and automated C2 systems. System support contracting authority, contract management, and program management authority resides with the service system materiel acquisition program offices. System support contractors, made up mostly of U.S. citizens, provide support in garrison and often deploy with the force in both training and contingency operations. The JFC generally has less ability to influence the execution of system support contracts than other types of contracted support. 

Theater support contractors: Contract personnel hired in and operating in a specific operational area. See also “external support contractors” and “systems support contractors.”

Theater support contract: Contingency contracts awarded by contracting officers deployed to the area of operations and serving under the direct contracting authority of the service component, Special Operations Force Command, or designated joint head of contracting authority for the designated contingency operation. These contracts, normally executed under expedited contracting authority, provide goods, services, and minor construction from commercial sources normally within the operational area. Theater support contracts are typically associated with term contingency contracting. From the contractor management perspective, local national personnel make up the bulk of theater support contract employees.

Unauthorized commitment: An agreement that is not binding solely because the government representative who made it lacked the authority to enter into that agreement on behalf of the government.

Undefinitized contract action (UCA): Any contract action for which the contract terms, specifications, or price are not agreed upon before performance is begun under the action. Examples are letter contracts, orders under basic ordering agreements, and provisioned item orders for which the price has not been agreed upon before performance has begun.

Unilateral modification: A contract modification that is signed only by the contracting officer. For example, unilateral modifications are used to do the following:

  • Make administrative changes. 
  • Issue change orders. 
  • Make changes authorized by clauses other than a changes clause (e.g., property, options, or suspension of work clauses). 
  • Issue termination notices. 

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Last Reviewed: May 18, 2012

 
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