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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  • Allot

    To divide an appropriation into amounts which may be encumbered or expended during an allotment period.
  • Allowable Costs

    Costs that are recognized by law, regulation, or the contract. (Harney, 1992) A cost that is reasonable.
  • Alphanumeric

    Consisting of both letters and numerals.
  • Alternate Bid (Response)

    1. A substitute bid. 2. A bid submitted with an intentional substantive variation to a basic provision, specification, term, or condition of the solicitation.
  • Alternate/Alternative Service Delivery (ASD)

    The process of changing the delivery of goods or services traditionally provided by a public entity to the private sector or another public entity.
  • Alternative (Alternate) Bid/Proposal

    A response to a bid or proposal that does not meet the exact requirements of the specification or scope of work, but offers an alternative for consideration. A bid/proposal submitted with an intentional substantive variation to a basic provision, specification, term, or condition of the solicitation. This alternative, in the opinion of the bidder/proposer, achieves the same end result. Alternative bids and proposals may render the bid/proposal as non-responsive.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

    A process or procedure used voluntarily between parties to resolve issues without the need to resort to litigation. ADR may include, but is not limited to, mediation, fact-finding, and arbitration.
  • Alternative Project Delivery Method (APDM )

    A collective term to refer to the use of non-traditional construction contracting methods. The contractor may participate in or advise on the design or may be entirely responsible for the design; the contractor's selection is based on qualifications or best value. Traditional contracting methods may include design-bid-build or design-build where alternative methods may include construction management or an alliance/relationship contracting.
  • Ambiguity

    Contract language that can be construed to have more than one meaning, definition, or interpretation.
  • Amendment

    An agreed addition to, deletion from, correction, or modification of a document or contract.
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