The ABC's of Government Contracting - A Ratio Exchange’s Guide to Government Acronyms

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

Navigating the Federal Government is a daunting task. You have to understand the differences between the numerous agencies and departments, how decisions are evaluated, and you have to learn a plethora of new acronyms. Instead of having to learn all of the acronyms by yourself, we created a primer so you can jump into searching for new opportunities, contracts, grants, and funding.

To help you have a quick reference guide to the most commonly used acronyms in government contracting, below you will find the list, and linked here is a PDF you can print/save for later. Once you have bookmarked this page and reviewed the acronyms, you can put your new knowledge to work by logging into the Exchange and finding new Federal Contract, State Contracts, Grants, Challenges, Needs, and non-dilutive funding opportunities.


AAR - After Action Report

ACAT - Acquisition Category

ACO - Administrative Contracting Officer

ACQ - Acquisition

ACS - Assistant Chief of Staff

ACWP - Actual Cost of Work Performed

ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act

ADPE - Automated Data Processing Equipment

AI - Action Item

ALIN - Agreement Line Item Number

ANS - American National Standard

ANSI - American National Standards Institute

AVBS - Automated Best Value System


B/L - Bill of Lading

B&P - Bid and Proposal

BAA - Broad Agency Announcement

BAC - Budgeted Cost at Completion

BAFO - Best and Final Offer

BAT - Best Available Technology

BD - Business Development

BDO - Blanket Delivery Order

BMM - Business Matchmaking

BOA - Basic Ordering Agreement

BOS - Business Opportunity Specialist

BPA - Blanket Purchase Agreement


CA - Cooperative Agreement

CAD - Computer Assisted Design

CAGE - Commercial and Government Entity

CAO - Congressional Affairs Office

CAS - Cost Accounting Standards

CBI - Confidential Business Information

CBO - Congressional Budget Office

CCDR - Contract Cost Data Report

CCR - Central Contractor Registration

CDD - Contract Delivery Date

CDRL - Contract Data Requirements List

CEA - Cost Effective Analysis

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations

CFSR - Contract Funds Status Report

CICA - Competition in Contracting Act

CID - Commercial Item Description

CIO - Chief Information Officer

CLIN - Contract Line Item Number

CM - Configuration Management

CMM - Capability Maturity Model

CMMI - Capability Maturity Model-Integrated

CMO - Contract Management Office

CMT - Contract Management Team

CO - Contracting Officer

COB - Close of Business

CONUS - Continental United States

COR - Contracting Officer Representative

COTR - Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative

COTS - Commercial Off-the-Shelf

CPAF - Cost Plus Award Fee

CPARS - Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System

CPFF - Cost Plus Fixed Fee

CPIF - Cost Plus Incentive Fee

CPN - Contract Payment Notice

CPR - Cost Performance Report

CRADA - Cooperative Research and Development Agreement

CY - Calendar Year


DACA - Days After Contract Award

DARO - Days After Receipt of Order

DARPA - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

DCAA - Defense Contract Audit Agency

DCMA - Defense Contract Management Agency

DEL - Delivery

DFARS - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement

DHS - Department of Homeland Security

DI - Document Identifier

DIC - Document Identifier Code

DID - Data Item Description

DLA - Defense Logistics Agency

DLH - Direct Labor Hour

DOC - Department of Commerce

DOD - Department of Defense

DOE - Department of Energy

DOI - Department of the Interior

DOJ - Department of Justice

DOL - Department of Labor

DOS - Department of State

DOT - Department of Transportation

DUNS - Data Universal Numbering System

DVD - Direct Vendor Delivery

DZ - Dozen


EA - Each

EB - Electronic Business

EC - Electronic Commerce

ECP - Engineering Change Proposal

EDD - Estimated Delivery Date

EDI - Electronic Data Interchange

EDOP - Expedited Delivery Order Process

EEO - Equal Employment Opportunity

EFT - Electronic Funds Transfer

EO - Executive Order

EOM - End of Month

ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival

ETC - Estimate to Complete


FAQ - Frequently Asked Question

FAR - Federal Acquisition Regulation

FAS - Federal Acquisition Service

FASA - Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act

FFP - Firm Fixed Price

FFRDC - Federally Funded Research and Development Center

FIPS - Federal Information Processing Standards

FISMA - Federal Information Security Management Act

FLSA - Fair Labor Standards Act

FMS - Foreign Military Sales

FMV - Fair Market Value

FOIA - Freedom of Information Act

FPI - Fixed Price Incentive

FPL - Federal Procurement List

FSC - Federal Supply Classification

FSN - Federal Stock Number

FSS - Federal Supply Schedules

FTE - Full Time Equivalent

FY - Fiscal Year

FYI - For Your Information


G&A - General and Administrative

GAA - General Agency Agreement

GAO - Government Accountability Office

GBL - Government Bill of Lading

GFE - Government Furnished Equipment

GFM - Government Furnished Materials

GFP - Government-Furnished Property

GOCO - Government Owned, Contractor Operated

GPO - Government Printing Office

GSA - General Services Administration

GSARS - General Services Acquisition Regulation Supplement

GWAC - Government-wide Acquisition Contract


HBCUs - Historically Black Colleges and Universities

HCA - Head of Contracting Activity

HQ - Headquarters

HR - Human Resources

HUB - Historically Underutilized Business


IA - Information Assurance

IAW - In Accordance With

IDIQ - Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity

IFB - Invitation for Bid

IG - Inspector General

IQC - Indefinite Quantity Contract

ISO - International Standards Organization (or International Organization for Standardization)

ISSA - Inter/Intra Service Support Agreement

IV&V - Independent Validation and Verification

IT - Information Technology


KM - Knowledge Management

KSPH - Keystrokes per Hour


LAN - Local Area Network

LOA - Letter of Offer and Acceptance

LOB - Line of Business

LOE - Level of Effort

LOP - Letter of Procurement

LT - Lot


M&IE - Meals and Incidental Expense

MBDC - Minority Business Development Center

MBE - Minority Business Entrepreneur

MILSPEC - Military Specification

MIL-STD - Military Standard

MOA- Memorandum of Agreement

MOU - Memorandum of Understanding


NAICS - North American Industry Classification System

NARA - National Archives and Records Administration

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASFARS - National Aeronautics Space Administration FAR Supplement

NDI - Non-Developmental Item

NIIN - National Item Identification Number

NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology

NLT - No Later Than

NSN - National Stock Number

NTE - Not to Exceed


O/A - On or About

OCONUS - Outside the Continental United States

OCR - Optical Character Recognition

OFPP - Office of Federal Procurement Policy

OMB - Office of Management and Budget

OPM - Office of Personnel Management

OSDBU - Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OWBO - Office of Women’s Business Ownership


P/N - Part Number

PAR - Payroll, Accounting and Reporting System

PCO - Procuring Contracting Officer

PCR - Procurement Center Representative

PEO - Program Executive Officer

PES - Professional Engineering Services

PID - Procurement Item Description

PIN - Personal Identification Number

PIV - Personal Identity Verification

PK - Package

PL - Public Law

PMP - Program Management Plan

PO - Purchase Order

POA&M - Plan of Action and Milestones

POC - Point of Contact

PPIRS- Past Performance Information Retrieval System

PR - Pair; Peer Review(s); Purchase Request

PRDA - Program Research and Development Announcement


QA - Quality Assurance

QAB - Quality Assurance Program

QBL - Qualified Bidders List

QC - Quality Control

QMS - Quality Management System

QPL - Qualified Products List


R&D - Research and Development

RD&D - Research, Development and Demonstration

RDD - Required Delivery Date

RDDTE - Research, Development, Demonstration, Testing and Evaluation

RFB - Request for Bid

RFI - Request for Information

RFID - Radio Frequency Identification

RFP - Request for Proposal

RFQ - Request for Quotation


SADBUS - Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Specialist

SAT - System Acceptance Test

SBA - Small Business Administration

SBAC - Small Business Advisory Committee

SBDC - Small Business Development Center

SBIC - Small Business Investment Company

SBIR - Small Business Innovation Research

SBSA - Small Business Set Aside

SDB - Small Disadvantaged Business

SDV - Service Disabled Veteran

SDVOSB - Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business

SEC - Securities and Exchange Commission

SF - Standard Form

SIC - Standard Industrial Classification Codes

SIN - Special Item Number

SKN - Stock Keeping Number

SKU - Stock Keeping Unit

SOO - Statement of Objectives

SOP - Standard Operating Procedure

SOW - Statement of Work

SSA - Source Selection Authority

SSA - Social Security Administration

SSN - Social Security Number

STTR - Small Business Technology Transfer Program


T&M - Time and Materials

TBA - To be Announced

TCO - Termination Contracting Officer

TD - Technology Development

T for C - Termination for Convenience

T for D - Termination for Default

TIN - Taxpayer Identification Number

TINA - Truth in Negotiations Act

TIPS - Technical Information Packages

TQM - Total Quality Management

TTN - Technology Transfer Network


U/I - Unit of Issue

UCC - Universal Commercial Code

UPC -Universal Product Code

USC - United States Code

USG - United States Government


V&V - Verification and Validation

VAR - Value Added Reseller

VC - Venture Capital(ist)

VSC - Vendor Support Center


WAWF - Wide Area Work Flow

WBC - Women’s Business Centers

WBE - Women’s Business Enterprise

WBS - Work Breakdown Structure

WOSB - Woman-Owned Small Business


XO - Executive Officer


YOB - Year of Birth

YR - Year

YTD - Year to Date

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