The objectives of this chapter are to determine what types of federal projects there are to bid on and to learn how to use FedBizOpps to search for projects, how to read and understand the solicitation and acquisition methods, how to find the pertinent information on the Standard Form (SF) 1442, how to register with the federal government to be able to bid on a project, and how to complete the online representations and certifications. This chapter will walk you through all of these processes. After reading the chapter, you should be able to find projects, understand the solicitation and where to find any information you will need from it, and be able to register with the federal government to perform work with it.
FINDING FEDERAL PROJECTS TO BID ON
The federal government uses three different methods of construction contracting. For very minor works, such as repairing a boiler, that are less than $2,500 in cost, the government has the option of purchasing the service using the federal government VISA credit card. Not all government personnel have this card, but many at each site do. For construction over $2,500 but less than $25,000, the local contracting office may let out the contract. Federal government construction projects having an estimated value of over $25,000 are posted on the official federal government website, www.fbo.gov.
Using the federal government VISA credit card—This method allows local federal government users to get items repaired and maintained in an expeditious manner. The requirements to follow FAR regulations are minimized, so there is very little paperwork involved. It is as simple as giving a written quote, agreeing with the user on the work and price, and then running the card through your credit card machine. You will need to have your system set up to accept the VISA card, but that can normally be done very quickly. You must get to know the personnel at each base who have access to the VISA card and develop a close relationship with them to get work from them. You can obtain this information from the local base or regional contracting office. The advantage is that they all have an operations and maintenance fund and there is always a need to get work done quickly. The profit margins are normally very good.
Federal projects up to $25,000—Federal government construction projects that are estimated to be more than $2,500 but less than $25,000 are normally contracted by the local contracting office. Again, the strict FAR requirements are relaxed somewhat to allow time frames to be compressed, and firms are invited to bid based on a local bidders list without the work having to be advertised. Although there is still competition for the contract, the margins again can be quite high. Your firm should make it a point to meet with the local contracting office to get on the bidders list. Each contracting office has a website where you can find the name of the right person to talk to. Typically, there is a large operations and maintenance fund available for each department, and the contracting office is responsible for letting the contracts.
Federal projects over $25,000—Nearly all federal government projects over $25,000 that are to go out for bid must be advertised on the FedBizOpps website. Every federal agency other than NASA lists its projects on this website. It is imperative that any contractor, subcontractor, vendor, or architect/engineer firm register to use this website and register with the federal government through this website to do business with it. A firm can look up opportunities and view plan holders’ lists without fully registering, but to view the full solicitation, plans, request for proposal (RFP), etc., the firm must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database. Registering in CCR can take up to a week if you don’t already have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number but only a day or two if you do.
Using FedBizOpps (www.fbo.gov) is the primary method of finding construction projects to bid on. Other types of solicitations, such as architect/engineer services and construction management services, are also listed on this official government website. Anyone can use the website by setting up a username and password in the “Vendors” area on the home page. Doing so will allow you to view the solicitations listed, as well as the plan holders’ list, but it will not allow you to view all the solicitation documents. You must be fully registered through the CCR process to be able to access those documents.
Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
The first step in getting CCR registered is to acquire a DUNS number. You will have to request this number through the Dun & Bradstreet website at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. The form is not very difficult to complete, but you must use the same business name shown on your latest tax return or the same Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) assigned by the IRS. This is important because if there is a difference, CCR will kick back the registration and the process will have to be redone by Dun & Bradstreet. The DUNS number you receive is a location-specific designator, so if you want to register more than one location, you will have to get a DUNS number for each one. Once you have completed the form, it will take one to two business days to receive your DUNS number.
Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
Now that you have your DUNS number, you can start the CCR process. Like the DUNS number, CCR is a location-specific registration, so you must use the location corresponding to the DUNS number. Some of the information you will be asked to provide is mandatory and some is optional. If you are a sole proprietorship, your TIN is either your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or your Social Security Number (SSN). If you need an EIN, you should get one from the IRS before proceeding any further because the CCR process requires that your EIN be active and it can take the IRS two to five weeks to activate a newly issued EIN. CCR will forward the name and TIN to the IRS to confirm that both match their records. The other information you will need to enter into CCR is statistical, such as location information, worldwide organization, North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes, and electronic funds transfer (EFT) information.
The worldwide organization information will be submitted to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to determine the official size of your business. The information for receipts will be for the last three years because the business size is determined using a three-year average.
The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. You will have to determine which NAICS codes your business corresponds to and enter them into the CCR. Choose as many as you see fit. You should choose quite a number of these because to bid on a project, you will need to have a NAICS code that matches the one(s) listed in the solicitation. The CCR website will direct you to a Census Bureau website that provides a definition for each NAICS code.
CCR also requires that you include your EFT information, which the government will use to pay invoices. This method has proven to be effective, and the required information is easy to enter. The EFT greatly speeds the payment process.
Now that you are CCR registered, you will need to set up a registration in FedBizOpps so that you can search for solicitations and view the attached documents. This is a simple process that requires you to set up a user name and password. The website has a user guide and a video demonstration that will walk you through the process. The site has many handy features to help you limit the time required to search for solicitations. Using the “Opportunities” navigation, you can use the “search” and “advanced search” modes, which will limit the solicitations to only those you are interested in.
I have found that the easiest and quickest way to find projects I’m interested in is to set up my search by using the “advanced search” tab and putting in the states and NAICS codes that match what I’m looking for.
You can use the “Watch List” to list solicitations that you want to follow. You will receive a daily e-mail that outlines any changes affecting a notice on your Watch List target list. You can also set up search agents based on selected detailed search elements. The search agents can be set up on an ad hoc or scheduled basis, allowing you to receive solicitations that align with your designated search criteria. These search tools will help you to target specific types of solicitations and make better use of your time.
UNDERSTANDING THE SOLICITATION
The solicitation is the process by which the federal government advertises a project for bid. The advertisement can appear on FedBizOpps or through other methods. FedBizOpps is the government’s preferred method, but many small contracts are advertised locally through the local agency contracting offices.
As the contractor, you need to understand that the solicitation and bidding process has different requirements for different projects. Some projects might be unrestricted, meaning that the bidding is open to all contractors regardless of size or designation. Some projects might be set-asides, meaning that only firms of a specific size and/or type, such as small, women-owned, service disabled/veteran-owned, small disadvantaged, or HUBZone businesses, may be allowed to bid. You must formulate a business strategy that will put you in a position to win the contract. This will be discussed later in the manual.
Contracting with the federal government is a highly regulated and structured process that, unlike commercial contracting, is governed generally by the United States Code and common law. Federal government contracting is governed by a complex set of statutes and regulations. They determine what method or process an agency must use to solicit a contract; how the agency is to negotiate or award a contract; and, under certain circumstances, what costs the government will reimburse and how a contractor must account for those costs.
You must also be aware that the U.S. government imposes a host of socioeconomic requirements through its contracts, including requirements related to affirmative action, drug-free workplace, subcontracting, minimum employee wages, etc. You must understand the federal government’s contracting process if you are going to be successful.
Basic Statutory and Regulatory Provisions
The Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947 (ASPA), the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (FPASA), and the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) are the three statutes that guide the federal acquisition process. The ASPA governs the acquisition of all property (except land), construction, and services by defense agencies; the FPASA governs similar civilian agency acquisitions.
The CICA, applicable to both defense and civilian acquisitions, requires federal agencies to seek and obtain “full and open competition” wherever possible in the contract award process. A federal agency may not award a contract using a sole source contractor or “other than full and open competition” except in very specific cases.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contains the uniform policies and procedures for acquisitions by all federal agencies. It implements or addresses nearly every procurement-related statute or executive order. The FAR affects every stage of the acquisition process. Its publication in 1984 reflected Congress’ efforts to create a uniform structure for Executive Branch federal contracting. The FAR replaced defense service and civilian agency regulations dating back to the late 1940s. Even though there are still numerous agency-specific supplements, which were implemented after the creation of the FAR, the supplements may not conflict with or supersede relevant FAR clauses.
The ASPA, FPASA, and CICA established two basic methods of obtaining “full and open competition”—sealed bidding and competitive negotiation. Sealed bidding is characterized by a rigid adherence to formal procedures. Those procedures aim to provide all bidders an opportunity to compete for the contract on an equal footing. In a sealed bidding acquisition, the agency must award to the responsible bidder that submits the lowest responsive bid (price). In contrast, competitive negotiation is a more flexible process that enables the agency to conduct discussions, evaluate offers, and award the contract using price and other factors.
Once a federal agency identifies a need and decides to proceed with an acquisition, it must solicit sealed bids if (1) time permits the solicitation, submission, and evaluation of sealed bids; (2) the award will be made on the basis of price and other price-related factors; (3) it is not necessary to conduct discussions with the responding offerors about their bids; and (4) there is a reasonable expectation of receiving more than one sealed bid.
The agency’s contracting officer (CO) initiates a sealed bidding acquisition by issuing an invitation for bids (IFB). The IFB must describe the government’s requirements clearly, accurately, and completely. The agency publicizes the IFB through display in a public place, announcement in newspapers or trade journals, publication in the Commerce Business Daily (CBD), publication on the federal government’s FedBizOpps website, and mailing of the IFB to the contractors on the agency’s solicitation mailing list.
It is critical that you submit your bids by the deadline stated in the IFB. A late bid will not be considered for award except where (1) the bid was sent to the CO by registered or certified mail at least five days before the bid receipt date; (2) the government mishandled the bid after receipt; (3) the bid was sent to the CO by “Postal Service Next Day Service” two days prior to the bid receipt date; or (4) the bid was transmitted electronically and received by 5:00 p.m. one working day prior to the bid receipt date.
All bids received by the time and at the place set for opening are publicly opened and read aloud by the CO. The bids are then recorded on an “Abstract of Offers” (Standard Form (SF) 1049) and examined for mistakes. If no mistakes are found, the CO awards the contract to the responsible bidder that submitted the lowest responsive bid.
A responsive bid is one that contains a definite, unqualified offer to meet the material terms of the IFB. Conditions, informalities, or defects in the bid that affect the price, quantity, quality, or delivery of the items being acquired by the agency result in rejection of the bid. Prior to awarding the contract to the lowest bidder, the FAR also requires the prospective awardee to be determined to be responsible, that is, to have the ability and capacity to perform the contract. More specifically, the FAR requires a prospective contractor to (1) have adequate financial resources to perform the contract; (2) be able to comply with the required or proposed delivery or performance schedule; (3) have a satisfactory performance record; (4) have a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics; (5) have the necessary organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills; (6) have the necessary production, construction, and technical equipment and facilities; and (7) be otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations.
Beyond responsiveness and responsibility, the CO may consider only price and price-related factors during bid evaluation. Price-related factors include costs or delays to the government resulting from differences in inspection, locations of supplies, and transportation; taxes; and changes made or requested by a bidder in any provision of the IFB. After evaluating price and price-related factors, the CO awards the contract to the responsible bidder whose bid is most advantageous to the government—i.e., lowest price. Award is made by furnishing a properly executed award document to the successful bidder. Under sealed bidding procedures, one of only two types of contract price methods may be used: (1) firm-fixed price or (2) fixed price with economic price adjustment.
If one of the four conditions for use of sealed bidding is not present, the CO awards the contract using competitive negotiation. Contracting by negotiation allows more flexibility in awarding the contract. Unlike sealed bidding, the CO may engage in discussions with offerors and, in evaluating proposals, may also consider non-cost factors (such as managerial experience, technical approach, and/or past performance).
The negotiating process begins when the CO issues a request for proposal (RFP). As in sealed bidding, if the procurement is over $25,000, the CO synopsizes a notice of the proposed contract action in FedBizOpps. An RFP must, at a minimum, state the agency’s need, the anticipated terms and conditions of the contract, information the contractor must include in the proposal, and factors and significant sub-factors that the agency will consider in evaluating the proposals and awarding the contract. All interested parties may then submit proposals.
Evaluation of the proposals includes an assessment of the proposals’ relative qualities, based upon the factors and sub-factors specified in the solicitation. Typically the CO evaluates (1) the offeror’s cost or price proposal, (2) the offeror’s past performance on government and commercial contracts, (3) the offeror’s technical approach, and (4) any other identified factors for award. During the evaluation period, the CO and source selection team may communicate with the offerors to clarify ambiguous proposed terms.
The CO may award a negotiated contract without any further negotiations, called “discussions.” If the CO intends to conduct discussions, however, he or she first preliminarily identifies the offerors that fall within the “competitive range.” The competitive range is composed of all the most highly rated proposals. To assist in determining the competitive range, the CO may engage in limited communications with all offerors. After establishing the competitive range, the CO notifies each excluded offeror and proceeds to conduct discussions with the remaining offerors. According to the FAR, the “primary objective” of discussions is to maximize the agency’s ability “to obtain best value, based on the requirement and thee valuation factors set forth in the evaluation.” During the discussions, the CO must indicate to each offeror the significant weaknesses, deficiencies, or other aspects of the proposal that could be altered to enhance the proposal’s potential for award. However, the CO must not (1) engage in conduct that favors one offeror over another, (2) reveal an offeror’s technical solution, (3) reveal an offeror’s price without permission, (4) disclose the names of persons providing information about the offeror’s past performance, or (5) furnish sensitive source selection information.
After discussions begin, the CO may eliminate from consideration any offeror originally in the competitive range but no longer considered among the most highly rated offerors. The CO also may request that offerors revise their proposals to clarify any compromises reached during negotiation. At the conclusion of the discussions, the CO requests a final proposal revision from each offeror still in the competitive range.
Finally, the CO undertakes a comparative analysis of the final offers in accordance with the evaluation procedures set forth in the RFP and selects the offeror whose proposal is most advantageous to the government. The documented award decision should contain an analysis of the trade-offs accomplished by negotiations and the reasons why the awardees’ proposal represents the best value to the agency. The CO always has the discretion not to award any contract if he or she deems that course to be in the government’s best interests. If requested by an unsuccessful offeror, the CO conducts a post-award debriefing, during which the basis for the selection decision is explained.
Parts of a Solicitation
The standard parts of a solicitation are determined by the “Uniform Contract Format.” They are usually listed alphabetically but may be listed numerically or by the form number. For instance, Part A of a solicitation is the solicitation/contract form, but for Department of Defense contracts it is usually shown as SF 1442. The parts of a solicitation are:
Part I: The Schedule
Supplies or Services and Prices/Costs
Packaging and Marking
Inspection and Acceptance
Deliveries and Performance
Contract Administration Data
Special Contract Requirements
Part II: Contract Clauses
Part III: List of Documents, Exhibits, and Other Attachments
List of Attachments
Part IV: Representations and Instructions
Representations, Certifications and other Statements of Offeror
Instructions, Conditions and Notices to Offerors
Evaluation Factors for Award
Part I: The Schedule
Section A: Solicitation/Contract Form
Standard Form (SF) 1442 is the “Solicitation, Offer, and Award” form used by the federal government to solicit bids and to award a contract for construction, alteration, or repair. It is the basic part of the contract whereby the federal government, through the CO, consummates the contract award. This form is used for the solicitation and later is used to make the award.
Page 1 contains the SOLICITATION section, and page 2 contains the OFFER and AWARD sections. The government completes the SOLICITATION section when it issues the package. The contractor completes the OFFER section when it submits its bid or proposal. Upon acceptance of the bid or proposal by the government, the CO completes the AWARD section. Block 1 contains the SOLICITATION NUMBER.
Block 3 contains the DATE ISSUED.
Block 4 contains the CONTRACT NUMBER. This block is completed when the government awards the contract.
Block 5 contains the REQUISITION/PURCHASE REQUEST NUMBER. This is sometimes left blank but might contain a number that is issued by the installation.
Block 6 contains the PROJECT NUMBER. This might be left blank but may be completed by the installation, especially for small contracts.
Block 7 is the ISSUED BY block. It contains the name and address of the issuing agency as well as a block labeled CODE. The CODE identifies the installation where the work will be accomplished.
Block 8 is the ADDRESS OFFER TO block. It contains the address to which the offer will be sent.
Block 9 is the FOR INFORMATION CALL block. Part A, NAME, contains the name of the contact person, and Part B contains the TELEPHONE NUMBER of that contact person. SOLICITATION
Block 10 is titled THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRES PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK DESCRIBED IN THESE DOCUMENTS (Title, identifying number, date). This is where a brief description of the work is shown.
Block 11 tells the contractor when the work must begin, how many days to complete the work, and from when, i.e., award or notice to proceed.
Block 12A is titled THE CONTRACTOR MUST FURNISH ANY REQUIRED PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS. It says either “yes” you have to or “no” you don’t have to.
Block 12B is titled CALENDAR DAYS, and it shows how many days after award the contractor has to submit the required bonds.
Block 13 contains ADDITIONAL SOLICITATION REQUIREMENTS. This section shows the number of copies of the proposal to be submitted, the date and time for receipt of proposals, whether an offer guarantee is or is not required, and how many days the offer must be good for.
Block 14 contains the NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (including ZIP Code). This must be the full name and address and should also include the firm’s DUNS and TIN and the e-mail address of the contractor’s point of contact. CODE and FACILITY CODE are left blank unless inserted later by the government.
Block 15 requires the TELEPHONE NUMBER of the contractor’s point of contact.
Block 16 requires the REMITTANCE ADDRESS of the contractor.
Block 17 requires that the offered price be inserted or reference made to a schedule of prices if included in the solicitation documents. The contractor must also either insert a period of time that the price will hold or be bound to hold it for the time period shown in Block 13D. Very often, the time shown in Block 13D is mandatory and cannot be changed.
Block 18 states that the offeror agrees to furnish any required performance and payment bonds.
Block 19 contains the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF AMENDMENTS. It is critical that all amendments issued under the solicitation be acknowledged here. The amendment number and date must be shown.
Block 20A requires the typed NAME AND TITLE OF PERSON AUTHORIZED TO SIGN OFFER.
Block 20B requires the SIGNATURE of the person authorized to make the offer.
Block 20C requires the OFFER DATE. AWARD
Block 21 contains ITEMS ACCEPTED and shows the prices that the offeror proposed and the government has accepted. The specific line items are shown here.
Block 22 contains the AMOUNT the government has accepted. This should equal the sum of the line items the government accepted in Block 21.
Block 23 contains the ACCOUNTING AND APPROPRIATION DATA that the government will use to charge all contract expenses. The government adds this.
Block 25 is the OTHER THAN FULL AND OPEN COMPETITION PURSUANT TO block, which the CO will check if the solicitation is a sole source negotiated contract.
Block 26 contains ADMINISTERED BY information. This information consists of the office and address of the group that will administer the contract.
Block 27 shows the name and address of the unit that the PAYMENT WILL BE MADE BY.
Block 28 is used only when there is a NEGOTIATED AGREEMENT. If the CO checks this box, the contractor must sign and date the document and return the required copies to the CO.
Block 29 is used when the CO is making an AWARD based upon an accepted proposal.
Blocks 30A, 30B, and 30C are used only when Block 28 has been checked by the CO and must be signed by the contractor.
Blocks 31A, 31B, and 31C are used only when Block 29 has been checked and signed by the CO.
Section B: Supplies or Services and Prices/Costs
Following the solicitation/contract form is a brief description of the acquisition and required pricing. It is composed of at least one line item for the base bid and quite often line items for options. These are called contract line item numbers, or CLINs. They need to be very carefully read and understood because they can be either “additive” or “deductive” and they can overlap. The performance period is also included in the CLINs, and options may allow additional time or may deduct performance time. The type of acquisition, such as “Firm Fixed Price” (FFP) or “Unit Price” contract, is also noted. If it is an FFP, the Unit is always 1 and the Unit Price is the total for the line item.
Section C: Description/Specifications/Statement of Work
The description of what the project is, any specifications, and the statement of work are included in this section.
This section contains requirements for packaging, packing, preservation, and marking. It is very seldom used in construction contracts but is used by the government when purchasing supplies and materials.
Section E: Inspection and Acceptance
This section includes inspection, acceptance, quality assurance, quality control, and reliability requirements.
Section F: Deliveries or Performance
The requirements for the time, place, and method of delivery and/or performance are specified in this section. The statement of work generally details these requirements.
Section G: Contract Administration Data
The government must include any required accounting and appropriation data and any required contract administration information or instructions here. This is in addition to the information shown on the SF 1442.
Section H: Special Contract Requirements
This section includes special contract clauses that are not included in Section I, Contract Clauses, or in other sections of the solicitation. Most federal agencies add their own supplemental clauses, which usually pertain to their specific way of doing business.
Part II: Contract Clauses
Section I: Contract Clauses
This section includes clauses required by law and any additional clauses expected to be included in any resulting contract, if these clauses are not required in any other section. An index may be inserted if this section’s format is particularly complex. The FAR clauses in this section may be “Clauses by Reference” or “Clauses by Full Text.”
Part III: List of Documents, Exhibits, and Other Attachments
Section J: List of Attachments
The solicitation must list the title, date, and number of pages for each attached document, exhibit, and other attachment. Cross-references to material in other sections may be inserted as appropriate.
Section K: Representations, Certifications, and other Statements of Offerors
Included in this section are the solicitation provisions that require representations, certifications, or the submission of other information by offerors.
Section L: Instructions, Conditions, and Notices to Offerors or Respondents
This section includes solicitation provisions and other information and instructions not required elsewhere to guide offerors or respondents in preparing proposals or responses to requests for information. Prospective offerors or respondents might be instructed to submit proposals or information in a specific format or severable parts to facilitate evaluation. The instructions might specify further organization of proposal or response parts, such as:
Cost or Pricing Data or Other Information.
Section M: Evaluation Factors for Award
The solicitation must identify all significant factors and any significant sub-factors that will be considered in awarding the contract and their relative importance as discussed below.
Amendments are issued by the CO during a solicitation to “amend” or change the requirements of the solicitation. This can be done for any reason and happens with almost every solicitation. You, as the contractor, can usually use FedBizOpps to sign up for automatic notification of any amendments that have been issued. Pay special attention to the changes included in the amendment and develop a system to track all changes. I highly recommend that you use a “living document” system to keep the solicitation up-to-date. The date for submittal of the proposal quite often changes with an amendment, so watch this very carefully.
The contractor must acknowledge all amendments in Block 19, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF AMENDMENTS. This is extremely important because if all amendments are not acknowledged, the CO will not consider the proposal and that could cost you a job.
You will have questions after reviewing the solicitation. This is a normal part of the review process, but you should decide early in the process whether your questions should be submitted for government clarification. Develop a strategy that clarifies concerns but does not give an advantage to your competitors. You need to make sure that the questions “level the playing field” for all the competing contractors but do not give away any competitive advantage you might have.
Questions must be submitted in the manner prescribed in the solicitation (e-mail, fax, etc.) to the office/person specified and by no later than the cutoff date and time shown in the solicitation. Questions submitted that do not follow these guidelines may be disallowed by the CO.
Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA)
ORCA is an e-government initiative developed to replace the paper-based “Representations and Certifications” (Reps and Certs) process. Previously, vendors had to submit Reps and Certs for each individual large purchase contract award. Now, using ORCA, you can enter your Reps and Certs information once for use on all federal contracts. This site benefits not only you, by allowing you to maintain an accurate and complete record, but also the CO, who can view every record, including archives, with the click of a mouse. Although using ORCA is generally not yet mandatory (many solicitations are making it mandatory), it is highly recommended to save time and effort.
Go to https://orca.bpn.gov to begin the process.
Starting Your Application
Before you can enter ORCA, you must:
Have an active registration in CCR
Have the Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) from your active registration
Know your DUNS number.
Registration in CCR. To determine whether you have an active registration, visit CCR’s home page at www.ccr.gov and click on “Search CCR” on the left side of your screen. If you have an active registration, you can begin your ORCA record. If not, complete one at the same website. Reminder: There is no cost involved with registering in CCR. When registering, make sure to use 2007 NAICS codes and not 2002 NAICS codes. You may begin your ORCA questionnaire immediately after your CCR registration becomes active.
Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN). The MPIN is a nine-character code containing at least one alpha character and one number (no special characters or spaces). The MPIN is created by you in your company’s CCR record, and it acts as a password for various government systems, including ORCA. The MPIN is the last data field in the “Points of Contact” section of the CCR registration. Once you have entered your new MPIN into CCR, it will become active in ORCA as soon as your CCR registration becomes active. If you need more information on how to create your MPIN, go to www.ccr.gov.
If you are not in CCR, go to www.ccr.gov and complete a registration. If you have an active registration but do not know your MPIN, contact the person who submitted your company’s CCR registration for that information. If you do not know who that person is, contact the CCR help desk at 888-227-2423.
DUNS Number. You will need a DUNS number in conjunction with the MPIN to enter the ORCA system. The DUNS number is a unique, nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet. If you have an active record in CCR, you have a DUNS number. View your active CCR record to determine your DUNS number.
If you have questions or problems with your DUNS number or do not have a DUNS number, call D&B at 1-866-705-5711. The process to request a number takes about 10 minutes and is free of charge. If you already have a DUNS number, the D&B representative will advise you over the phone.
DUNS+4. The use of DUNS+4 numbers to identify vendors is limited to identifying records for the same vendor at the same physical location. The +4 should be used in ORCA only if you registered your company that way in CCR.
Entering Your Application
Follow these steps to enter an ORCA application. Note that after 20 minutes of inactivity on one page, your registration will time out and all data will be lost.
Start at https://orca.bpn.gov.
Enter your DUNS number and MPIN, and click “Submit.” If you entered a valid DUNS number/MPIN combination, your existing information from CCR will be pulled and displayed for your review.
Review the displayed CCR information. If it is correct, click “Create ORCA Record.” If it is incorrect, visit www.ccr.gov and update your registration. Changes in CCR will update into ORCA as soon as your CCR registration becomes active.
Confirm your ORCA POC (point of contact) and change it if necessary. Click “Continue.” The questionnaire will begin.
At the end of the questionnaire, click “Save and Continue to Certification.”
You may choose to exit the questionnaire at any point, saving what you have entered thus far, by clicking “Save and Exit Questionnaire.”
If you need to return to an earlier page, click “Previous Page.” However, any entries that you made on the current page will not be saved unless you first click “Save and Continue Questionnaire.”
Whenever you enter text in a field, you must click “Add” for the information to be saved.
Throughout the questionnaire, you might find a few questions marked “Reserved.” Because of certain company information provided in your CCR record, these questions might no longer be applicable to you. Continue on to the next question.
Review your answers by reading the actual provisions/clauses that contain your responses. If you would like to make any changes, click on the check box or displayed answer to return to the original question. When finished making the changes, click “Continue” to get back to the review.
Remember to review and click the check boxes on the read-only clauses of 52.203-11, 52.222-38, 52.223-1, 52.225-20, and 52.227-6. These are the first five clauses on the review page.
If you answered questions related to DFARS clauses/provisions, review the applicable DFARS provisions/clauses. There are nine DFARS read-only clauses/provisions with check boxes that must be filled in to submit the certification.
When satisfied with all of your answers, scroll to the bottom of the screen. Be sure to certify that your answers are true by clicking the check box with the date/time stamp. When finished, click “Submit Certification.”
Please note that the information stored in an active ORCA record is considered unrestricted and may be searched by the public using the DUNS number.
You will receive an e-mail confirmation that you have registered your record. A record is active for 365 days from date of submission or upon updating. You should update your record as necessary to reflect changes, but at least annually to ensure it is current, accurate, and complete.
You will be reminded by e-mail of the renewal requirement 60 days, 30 days, and 15 days prior to your record’s expiration. The notice will be sent to the ORCA POC designated in your company’s record.
Explore how to assess a wide range of factors to determine which contract type will provide the government the best value...
Transform your workplace into a well of learning and employee potential fulfilled with the help of this book!
Use past performance to win contracts at the lowest risk and cost
Learn project management processes, tools, and techniques that are scalable and adaptable to small projects.