Some Common Procurement Terms

ADDENDUM
An addition or supplement to a document; e.g., items or information added to a procurement document.

ADVERTISE
To make a public announcement of the intention to purchase goods, services or construction with the intention of increasing the response and enlarging the competition. The announcement must conform to the legal requirements imposed by established laws, rules, policies and procedures.

BLANKET ORDER
A contract under which a vendor agrees to provide goods or services on a purchase-on-demand basis. The contract generally establishes prices, terms, conditions and the period covered (no quantities are specified); shipments are to be made as required by the purchaser.

BROKER
A business that carries no inventory and that has no written ongoing agreement with any manufacturer or manufacturer’s authorized distributor to sell the products of the manufacturer.

CONSIDERATION
Something of value given or done as recompense that is exchanged by two parties; that which binds a contract.

CONTRACTOR
A person who agrees to furnish goods or services for a certain price; may be a prime contractor or subcontractor.

DESIGN SPECIFICATION
A specification setting forth the required characteristics to be considered for award of contract, including sufficient detail to show how the product is to be manufactured.

DROP SHIPMENT
Merchandise which is shipped by a manufacturer directly to a customer in response to the seller who collects orders but does not maintain an inventory.

EQUAL OR APPROVED EQUAL
Used to indicate that an item may be substituted for a required item if it is equal in quality, performance and other characteristics.

ESCALATION CLAUSE
A contract provision which permits the adjustment of contract prices by an amount or percent if certain specified contingencies occur, such as changes in the vendor’s raw material or labor costs.

LOWEST RESPONSIBLE VENDOR
The vendor with the lowest price whose past performance, reputation and financial capability is deemed acceptable.

MATERIALS MANAGEMENT
Embraces all functions of acquisition, standards, quality control and surplus property management.

REQUIREMENTS CONTRACT
A form or contract that is used when the total long-term quantity required cannot be definitely fixed, but can be stated as an estimate or within maximum and minimum limits with deliveries on demand.

RESPONSIBLE BIDDER
A bidder whose reputation, past performance and business and financial capabilities are such that the bidder would be judged by an appropriate authority as capable of satisfying an organization’s needs for a specific contract.

VENDORS LIST
A list of names and addresses of suppliers from whom bids, proposals and quotations might be expected. The list, maintained by the purchasing office, should include all suppliers who have expressed interest in doing business with the government.

VIRGIN PRODUCT
A product that is made with 100-percent new raw materials and contains no recycled materials.

This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of College Planning & Management.

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