Dictionary of Procurement Terms

Dictionary of Procurement Terms

Welcome to the NIGP Online Dictionary of Procurement Terms, the comprehensive reference for public purchasing terms and concepts.

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  • Affiliate

    1. A branch or unit of a larger entity. 2. Legal form of entity relationship used in business law.
  • Affirmative Action

    Required procedures contained within United States federal law (Equal Opportunity Act of 1972) designed to eliminate unlawful job discrimination among applicants, remedy the results of such prior discrimination, and prevent such discrimination in the future. Typically applies at least to race, creed, color, and national origin.
  • Agency

    A legal relationship that exists between two parties by which one (the agent) is authorized to perform or transact specified business activities for the other (the principal).
  • Agent

    Individual who acts on the behalf of any entity, such as a corporation, partnership, or any level of government as that entity conducts business. See also: Law of Agency, Principal, Buyer.
  • Aggrandizement

    The extension of one’s influence beyond what is normal or ethically acceptable. In procurement, personal gain obtained through an agreement established and intended to be on behalf of taxpayers.
  • Aggregate

    To gather or collect quantities of a specific item (product or service), often to achieve savings by leveraging economies of scale. (Schiller 2000)
  • Aggregate Award

    A contract award based on the total price for all items. While this allows the public entity to enter into a contract with a single supplier, this method does not always provide the best available pricing and may be overly restrictive unless multiple offerors are able to supply all of the items contained in the solicitation document.
  • Aggregate Supply

    The total supply of all the goods and services in an economy. (OED 2021)
  • Aggregator

    Any supplier that combines like clients, goods, or services into groups for reasons of economy, convenience, etc.
  • Aggrieved Bidder/Proposer/Offeror

    The bidder/proposer/offeror who may be adversely affected by the award of a contract to another bidder/proposer/offeror and protests or appeals the decision.



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