Terms and Definitions
Acquisition: The process of acquiring supplies, services, and construction in support of the joint force.
Administrative contracting officer (ACO): Contracting officers whose duties are limited to contract administration. See also contracting officer and procuring contracting officer.
Administrative lead time: The interval between initiation of a procurement action and the letting of a contract or placing of an order. See also procurement lead time.
Civil augmentation program (CAP): Standing, long-term external support contacts designed to augment service logistic capabilities with contract support in both preplanned and short-notice contingencies. Examples include the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, the Air Force Contract Augmentation Program, and the U.S. Navy Global Contingency Capabilities Contracts. See also contingency contract and external support contracts.
Constructive change to a contract: A constructive change occurs when the contractor performs work beyond what is required by the contract and without a formal change order; it is perceived that the work originated from a government informal order, or is due to government fault.
Contingency contractor employees: Employees of a commercial entity providing goods and/or services to the joint force within the operational area during a contingency operation. See also contractors authorized to accompany the force, contractors who deploy with the force, and contractors who accompany the force/non-contractors who deploy with the force.
Contingency contracting: The process of obtaining goods and services from commercial sources via contracting means in support of contingency operations. See also contingency, contingency contracts, and contingency contractor employee.
Contingency contractors authorized to accompany the force (CAAF): Contingency contractor employees who are specifically authorized through their contract to accompany the force and have protected status in accordance with international conventions. Also known as CAAF. See also contractors who deploy with the force and contractors who accompany the force, but who do not deploy with the force.
Contingency contractors authorized to accompany the force, but who do not deploy with the force: A subset of CAAF who are specifically authorized through the contract to accompany the force, but who do not deploy through a formal deployment process, and who generally receive a lower level of government support as compared to those contractor personnel designated as CAAF. Also known as non-CAAF. See also CAAF and contractor personnel who deploy with the force.
Contingency contracts: Contracts for goods and services obtained from commercial sources in support of contingency operations. See also external support contracts, theater support contracts, and systems support contracts.
Contract administration: A subset of contracting that includes efforts to ensure that supplies and services are delivered in accordance with the conditions and standards expressed in the contract.
Contractor management: The process of managing and integrating contracted support, including all associated contractor personnel, into military operations.
Contract termination: The cessation or cancellation, in whole or in part, of work under a prime contract, or a subcontractor for the convenience of, or at the option of, the government, or due to failure of the contractor to perform in accordance with the terms of the contract (default).
Contracting officer (KO): The servicemember or Department of Defense (DOD) civilian with the legal authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts.
Contracting officer representative (COR): A servicemember or DOD civilian appointed in writing by a contracting officer responsible for monitoring contract performance, and performs other duties specified by his appointment letter. See also contracting officer technical representative.
Contracting officer technical representative (COTR): A servicemember or DOD civilian appointed in writing by a contracting officer to provide specific technical expertise in the contract management process. See also contracting officer representative.
Cost-plus award fee contract: A type of contract that provides for a payment consisting of a base amount fixed at inception of the contract along with an award amount that is based upon a judgmental evaluation by the government.
Delivery order: A contract for supplies that does not procure or specify firm quantities (other than maximum/minimum quantity) and provides for the issuance of orders for delivery of supplies during the contract period.
Direct vendor delivery: A materiel acquisition and distribution method that requires a vendor deliver directly to the customer.
External support contracts: Prearranged contracts, or contracts awarded during the contingency, from contracting organizations whose contracting authority does not derive directly from the contingency operation or system support contracting authority. See also theater support and system support contracts.
Field ordering officer (FOO): A servicemember or DOD civilian who is appointed in writing and trained by a contracting officer who is authorized to spend government money in support of forces and/or designated civil-military operations.
Head of the contracting activity: The official who has overall legal responsibility for managing the contracting activity.
Indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) type of contract: A type of contract used for procurements where the exact time of delivery or quantity of the item is not known at the time of the letting the contract.
Independent government estimate (IGE): An independent government estimate is an estimate of the cost/price for goods and/or services to be procured by contract.
Initiation of procurement action: The point in time when the approved document requesting procurement and citing funds is forwarded to the procuring activity. See also procurement lead time.
Letter of authorization: A document issued by the procuring contracting officer or designee that authorizes contractor personnel to accompany the force and to travel to, from, and within the operational area. It also outlines government-furnished support authorizations within the operational area.
Non-contingency contractor authorized to accompany the force contractor employees: Include local national and third country national expatriates who are permanent residents in the operational area who perform their support function away from direct vicinity of, and do not reside with, U.S. forces. See also contingency contractor employees and contractors authorized to accompany the force.
Performance work statement (PWS): A performance-based description of the user's technical, functional, and performance requirements.
Prime contract: A contract or contractual action entered into by the U.S. government for the purpose of obtaining supplies, materials, equipment, or services of any kind.
Prime vendor (PV): A contracting process that provides commercial products to regionally-grouped military and federal customers from commercial distributors using electronic commerce. Customers typically receive materiel delivery through the vendor's commercial distribution system. See also direct vendor delivery and distribution system.
Privity of contract: The legal relationship that exists between two contracting parties, for example, between the prime and sub-contractor.
Procurement lead time: The interval in months of time between the initiation of the procurement action and receipt into the supply system of the production model (excludes prototypes) purchased as the result of such actions. It is composed of two elements, production lead time and administrative lead time. See also administrative lead time.
Procuring contracting officer (PCO): A contracting officer who initiates and signs the contract. Also see contracting officer and administrative contracting officer.
Ratification: The process of approving an unauthorized commitment by an official who has the authority to do so. See also constructive change to a contract and unauthorized commitment.
Requiring activity: A military or other designated, supported organization that identifies and receives contracted support during military operations. See also supported unit.
Senior contracting official (SCO): The lead service or joint-command-designated contracting official who has direct managerial responsibility over theater support contracting.
Subcontract: A contract or contractual action entered into by a prime contractor and subcontractor, or a subcontractor to another subcontractor, for the purpose of obtaining supplies, materials, equipment, or services of any kind under a prime contract. See also contingency contract, prime contract, and privity of contract.
Supported unit: As related to contracted support, the organization that is the recipient, but not necessarily the requester, of contractor-provided support. See also requiring activity.
System support contracts: A pre-arranged contingency contract awarded by the service acquisition program management offices that provides technical support, maintenance support and, in some cases, Class IX support for selected military weapon 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 command and control systems. System support contracting authority, contract management, and program management authority resides with the service system materiel acquisition program offices. System support contractors are comprised of mostly U.S. citizens who provide support in garrison and often deploy with the force in both training and contingency operations. The joint forces commander generally has less ability to influence the execution of system support contracts than other types of contracted support.
Task order: Order for services placed against an established contract. See also civil augmentation program, cost-plus award fee contract, and indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity type of contract.
Theater support contracts: A type of contingency contract that is awarded by contracting officers deployed to the operational area 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 are normally executed under expedited contracting authority and provide goods, services, and minor construction from commercial sources (normally within the operational area). Theater support contracts are typically associated with term contingency contracting. Local nationals comprise the bulk of the theater contract support employees.
Unauthorized commitment: A non-binding agreement between a contractor and a U.S. government official who lacks proper contracting authority to enter into a contract or to change a contract. See also constructive change to a contract and ratification.
Last Reviewed: May 18, 2012