ATTENTION: In the fall of 2017, we will release a new version of USAspending.gov. The new site will continue to provide data on federal awards as well as include data on agency expenditures. For a preview, go to beta.usaspending.gov . Please give us feedback about important features you want incorporated into the new site by emailing our servicedesk or joining the Community.

Glossary

​​​​​​​

ABC | DEF | GHI | JKL | MNO | PQR | STU | VWXYZ

ABC​

Agency – An administrative unit in the federal government set up for a specific purpose such as the management of resources, financial oversight of industries, or national security issues.  These organizations may be created by legislative action, or by presidential order.  The agencies’ directors are typically appointed by the President.

Assistance Type – Direct grants, direct payments, loans, insurance.

Award – A federal contract, grant, loan or other financial assistance.

Award ID – An agency-specific unique identifier for each individual award. 

Awarding Agency – The agency that is distributing the federal funding.

Blanket Purchase Agreement – A simple method of filling repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing “charge accounts” with the qualified sources of supplies.

Block Grant – Funding to a regional government with general provisions on how the money is to be spent.

Bureau – The principal subordinate organizational unit of an agency.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)CFDA p​​rovides a numeric code indicating the program under which the award was funded.  

Contract – An agreement between the federal government and a prime recipient to execute goods and services for a fee.

Contract Modification – A written change or addition in the terms of a contract.  

Contractor – Prime recipient that delivers goods or services under contract with a federal agency, and includes corporations, small businesses, universities, not for profits, and any other types of entities that enter into contracts with federal agencies.

Cooperative Agreement – A grant requiring substantial involvement between the recipient of the grant and the federal agency and has different reporting requirements than other grants.

Cost No Fee Contract – A cost-reimbursement contract in which the contractor receives no fee.

Cost-plus Contract – A contract which allows the contractor to be paid for all allowed expenses to a set limit plus additional payment to allow for a profit.

Cost-plus Fixed-Fee Contract – A detailed breakdown of the estimated costs, both direct and indirect, is provided and the customer will allow certain specific dollar amounts for profit and fee. Contractor can invoice for actual costs incurred or for actual costs paid for and due for reimbursement and each invoice may include a portion of the fixed fee.  Contractor cannot bill for costs that exceed the agreed upon estimate without advance approval which is not always given.

Cost Plus Incentive Fee Contract – The agency reimburses all allowable project costs to the contractor and offers an incentive if the contractor meets performance criteria.

Cost-Sharing Contract – Cost reimbursement contract in which the contractor receives no fee and is reimbursed only for an agreed-upon portion of allowable costs.

Current Contract Value – The value in dollars for the base contract and any options that have been exercised.  For a new award, this is the total amount; for a modification, it is a positive or negative change in value.

[top of page]

DEF

Davis-Bacon Act – Federal law that requires contractors and subcontractors performing under federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 in relation to work on public buildings or public works pay their laborers and mechanics no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area.

De-Obligation – The downward adjustment to the amount of a prime award to a recipient as the result of the termination of part of the award, return of unspent funds, or a correction of amounts reported by the agency.

Direct Loan – Financial assistance provided through the lending of federal monies for a specific period of time with a reasonable expectation of repayment.  Such loans may or may not require the payment of interest.

Direct Payment – A cash payment made by the federal government to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions.

Dots on the Map – A dot is placed at the place-of-performance as reported by the agency. If the agency only reports a zip code + four, the dot is placed in the center of the zip code area. If the agency only reports a state designation, the dot is placed at the state capital.

  • Clustering at State Level - When the user selects a state, the map zooms in to the state and displays a cluster of the number of transactions in the state. Hovering over the cluster will display the total number of awards and the total award dollars.
  • Clustering at county, congressional district, ​or zip code levels – When the user zooms into a county, congressional district, ​or zip code and double clicks on the clusters, they break apart into single points.  Clicking on a dot displays the total number of awards and the total award dollars in the specific location.

DUNS – A unique 9-digit number distributed and maintained by Dun & Bradstreet to all entities that wish to do business with the federal government.

​8 (a) Firm -- A business owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals that are eligible for receiving assistance from the Small Business Administration, including the opportunity to receive federal contracts on a sole-source or limited competition basis.

Executive Compensation – Recipients are required to report the executive compensation of their five most highly compensated officers IF the entity in the preceding fiscal year received 80 percent or more of its annual gross revenues in federal awards; $25M or more in annual gross revenues from federal awards; and the public does not have access to the compensation information through periodic reports filed under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Face Value – Full amount of a loan award.

Fair Opportunity – A competitive process used after the award of multiple indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract awards. The awardees are allowed a fair opportunity to compete for task orders.

Firm-fixed Price Contract A fixed amount paid to a contractor that will not change under any circumstances.

Fiscal Year – The federal government operates on a fiscal year that begins on October 1 and ends the following September 30.  An award or transaction is reported in the fiscal year in which it occurred.

Fixed Price with Economic Price Adjustment Contract Funds Awarded (Obligated) – A definite commitment by the federal government for the payment of goods and services ordered or received.  An agency makes an award (obligation) when it places an order, signs a contract, awards a grant, purchases a service or takes other action that requires the government to make payments to the public or from one government to another.

Formula Grant – Allocations of money to states or municipalities​ in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project. Examples of formula grants are Preschool Grants​ program, the ​Nutritions Services Incentive program, and ​​public safety grants. 

Funding Agency – The federal agency funding an award. In some instances, one agency will make an award on behalf of another federal agency.

[top of page]

GHI

Geocoding – The process of assigning a latitude and longitude to a specific location, such as a street address or zip code, and mapping the location. 

Grant – An award of financial assistance from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public project or service authorized by a law of the United States.  

Guaranteed/Insured Loans – Programs in which the federal government makes an arrangement to indemnify a lender against part or all defaults by those responsible for repayment of loans.

Insurance – Financial assistance that assures reimbursement for losses sustained under specified conditions.  Coverage may be provided directly by the federal government or through private insurance companies and may or may not involve the payment of premiums.

[top of page]

JKL

Labor Hour – The amount of work an average worker can perform in one hour at specified hourly rates.

Loans -- Federal awards that the borrowers​ will eventually pay back to the government. Guaranteed loans require the federal government to pay the bank and take over the loan if the borrower defaults.

[top of page]

MNO

Multiple Recipients -- To protect the privacy of individuals receiving assistance, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, flood insurance, federal agencies ​aggregate those awards into a single "multiple recipient" category. The Multiple Recipient awards are included in the Other Financial Assistance category transactions and dollar tot​als.​

​NAICS – The North American Industry Classification System designates the industry in which the contractor does business.

Negative Number – An amount may appear as a negative if the agency made a modification to an award but there was no additional funding; part of the funding for an award was reduced or de-obligated by the awarding agency; there is a negative subsidy on a loan and the funds are being returned to the Treasury; ​or the agency has submitted duplicate corrections reports. 

Other Financial Assistance Includes direct payments to individuals (such as Medicare and food stamps), insurance payments (such as, unemployment benefits, flood insurance), and other types of assistance payments (such as, reimbursements for prescriptions for veterans).

[top of page]

PQR

Place of Performance – Represents the geographic location where the majority of work on a project is ​being done. 

Procurement Instrument Identifier (PIID) – The unique identifier assigned to every federal contract, purchase order, basic ordering agreement, basic agreement, and blanket purchase agreement used to track the contract and any modifications or transactions related to it.

Purchase Orders – A specific quantity of supplies or scope of services ordered with a date of delivery. 

Recipient – A non-federal entity, usually a state or local government, or a private, non-profit organization​, that receives a federal award directly from a federal agency. 

Recipient Location – Address for the recipient’s base of operations, or headquarters.

Recipient Type – State or local governments, Indian tribes, individuals, small businesses, for-profit and nonprofit entities, higher education institutions, among others.

[top of page]

STU

SmartPay – Charge cards provided by the General Services Administration to federal agencies through contracts that are negotiated with major national banks and that are used for purchasing general supplies and services, as well as for official government travel expenses and fuel and supplies for government vehicles.

SmartPay Travel (CBA) The government makes payment directly to the bank that issued the card.

SmartPay Travel (IBA) The individual holding the card makes payment directly to the bank that issued the card.

Sub-Award – An award made by a prime recipient to a non-federal entity to support a project or program for which the prime recipient received federal funds.

Sub-Contractor – An entity performing the services of a contractor, subject to the approval of and conditions set by the contracting agency.

Sub-recipient – A non-federal entity that received a sub-award or sub-contract from another non-federal entity to carr​y out an activity under a federal program. 

Subsidy Cost The estimated long-term cost to the government of a direct loan or loan guarantee, or modification thereof.

Time and materials contract Pays for labor hours at specified rates and materials at cost.

Transaction – Includes the initial contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement award and all amendments or modifications to that award. 

Treasury Account Symbol – This code consisting of a two-character agency identifier, four digit Main Account Code, and a three character Subaccount Code is assigned by the Department of the Treasury and applied to all federal programs.

[top of page]

VWXYZ