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The definitions in this section reflect NITAAC's interpretation of terms and concepts used in the ECS III Guidelines.

Accountable Management Official (AMO)

The individual within the customer's organization (whether NIH or other Federal agency), who is authorized to obligate or expend Government funds. This individual has the authority to bind the Government to the extent of the authority delegated to him/her. The dollar threshold set forth in the individual's delegation may not be exceeded. The AMO is typically a CO, if the customer chooses to issue orders locally (i.e., through its own agency channels). Only when a local CO is not available, the AMO may be a project official who has been authorized by his/her agency to direct the transfer of funds to the designated contracting office.

Best Value Analysis

The analysis of technical and cost proposals, in accordance with FAR Part 15.101, to determine which proposal offers the "greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement" (FAR 2.101).

ECS III Delivery Order (DO) Authorization Number

The ECS III Quoting System assigns Delivery Order Authorization Numbers for each contractor quote that the customer awards with a DO. All DOs sent to the ECS III Financial Team must contain the ECS III Delivery Order Authorization Number. If a DO modification is received, a suffix (e.g., .01, .02, .03, etc.) is assigned to the original ECS III Delivery Order Authorization Number and is placed on the DO Modification furnished to the ECS III Financial Team. The contractor shall not accept any orders which do not have a Delivery Order Authorization Number.

Contracting Officer
"A person with the authority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. The term includes certain authorized representatives of the contracting officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the contracting officer." (FAR 2.101)

Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR)
The individual appointed by the AMO who serves as the principal point of contact between the customer, the DO prime contractor and NITAAC. This individual provides technical direction to the DO prime contractor.

One of the prime contractors holding an ECS III ID/IQ contract awarded by NITAAC. Only these contractors may receive ECS III DO awards from customers. While a contractor may have a subcontractor associated with this contract, the Government maintains a contractual relationship only with the prime contractor. The contractor is also referred to as the "vendor".

Contract Type: Firm Fixed Price (FFP)

A FFP contract provides for a firm price that is not subject to any adjustment on the basis of the prime contractor's cost experience in performing the contract. This contract type places maximum risk on the contractor. It also provides maximum incentive for the contractor to control costs and perform effectively.


This term includes personnel from NIH ordering activities and all other Federal agencies. The term "external customer" means any Federal Customer that is not a part of the NIH.

Delivery Order

A written, signed and dated document that orders the delivery of products or services from an established ECS III contract, issued to a contractor by one who has authority and legal right to claim or order delivery of goods. Note: ECS III DOs require that there be an established price in the contract for the product or service. For example, a service such as installation or maintenance of a product purchased on the contract is sold for a set price, not at hourly rates.

Direct Support

Lot 6 support services performed by an ECS III contractor that are required for the implementation and/or continued operation of Lots 1-5 products/services that are being (or have been) acquired under ECS III.

Fair Opportunity to be Considered (FOC)

The contracting officer must provide each awardee a fair opportunity to be considered for each order exceeding $2,500 issued under multiple delivery-order contracts or multiple task-order contracts, unless one of the exceptions defined at FAR 16.505(b)(2) exists. All ECS III prime contractor teams (primes and their designated subcontractors) are considered to possess the basic qualifications for success in the IT areas (Lots) of the contract awarded to them. Therefore the statutory and regulatory requirement for FOC will be deemed to have been met when the customer makes timely notice to all contractors that are pre-qualified in the IT areas of the order by submitting Requests for Quotes through the ECS III Quoting System, reviews contractor quotes and catalogs per the instructions in Section 2 of the ECS III Guidelines, and properly documents its official file as to the rationale for selection of the DO contractor. This procedure does not apply if one of the exceptions at FAR 16.505(b)(2) is applicable. See below for exceptions.

      The exceptions to the fair opportunity process (selecting a single ECS III
       prime contractor for a specific DO) applicable to the ECS III contract are:

  • The agency need for services is of such urgency that providing such opportunity would result in an unacceptable delay.
  • Only one ECS III contractor is capable of providing the required products/services at the level of quality required because the products/services ordered are unique or highly specialized. (Consideration may be given to this exception when the contractor's products/services are proprietary.)
  • The DO must be issued on a sole-source basis in the interest of economy and efficiency because it is a logical follow-on to a previous DO(s) issued under this contract, provided that "fair opportunity to be considered" rules were adhered to in the award of the original DO.

Funding Document/Order Number

This is the unique customer number identifying the Funding Document/Order. The Funding Document/Order must cite the ECS III Delivery Order Authorization Number, and where appropriate, include the proper processing fee as a separate FFP line item.

NIH Processing Fee

This is the fee that NITAAC receives from its external customers for processing a DO, or a DO modification to an award, and is intended to cover the costs associated with the solicitation, award, and administration of the ECS-III contracts.

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