Term Definition

"%of total"

Some column headers are titled "% of total." This column lists the percent of total dollars allotted to that entity out of the total amount of money in the contracting system (Contracts), not the total in the entire database of SmallBusinessDashboard.gov.


This usually means there is an error in the data reported by the agency in the government database (e.g. Congressional Districts that no longer exist or never existed). These can sometimes be found for States, Congressional Districts, Type of Contract, and Funding Accounts.

"Not Reported"

This usually means there is no data reported by the agency in the government database. This can sometimes be found for States, Congressional Districts, Type of Contract, and Funding Accounts.

Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA)

A simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing "charge accounts" with qualified sources of supply.

Business Fund Indicator

It represents the source of funding made available through a legislative action such as American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund awards related to a specific purpose. SmallBusinessDashboard.gov tracks award obligations using such business indicators separately for better transparency and accountability.

System for Award Management (SAM)

The System for Award Management (SAM) is a Federal Government owned and operated web site that consolidates the capabilities in CCR/FedReg, ORCA, and EPLS. Future phases of SAM will add the capabilities of other systems used in Federal procurement and awards processes.

ORCA = Online Representation & Certification Application (ORCA Certification)

EPLS = Excluded Parties List System

Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR)

The Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR) is a presentation of data on federal government expenditures or obligations in state, county, and sub county areas of the United States, including the District of Columbia and U.S. Outlying Areas. It is collected under the authority of Title 13 of the U.S. Code and contains statistics on the geographic distribution of federal program expenditures, using data submitted by federal departments and agencies. The data is consolidated and tabulated in a standard format by the U.S. Census Bureau, under the auspices of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, for presentation in publications and electronic forms.


Entity that performs the service mandated by a contract with a federal agency. In some cases, the service will actually be performed by a subcontractor, subject to the approval of and conditions set by the contracting agency. In other cases, such subcontracting is not permitted under the contract. Contractors are usually for-profit companies, but they also include universities, independent nonprofits, hospitals, and other types of entities.

Contractor Location

The Contractor Location represents the geographic area where the contractor's base of operations is. Typically this is the address which the Contractors provide when registering their respective organization(s).


An agreement between the federal government and a private entity, for-profit or non-profit, to execute mandated services for a fee for the federal government.

Cooperative Agreements

A financial assistance mechanism used when substantial Federal programmatic involvement with the recipient is anticipated by the funding agency during performance of the project. The nature of that involvement will always be specified in the offering or application guidance materials.

D&B (Dun & Bradstreet)

  • A commercial entity (www.dnb.com) that maintains a repository of unique identifiers for most recipients (DUNS Numbers), which is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying a business entity and linking together corporate families
  • Used to validate DUNS numbers provided by agencies to acquire the Parent Entity DUNS number based on linkage information at the time of the award

See - Sources of Data

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number is a unique nine-character identification number provided to entities interested in contracting with the federal government. The numbers are distributed by the private company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Companies interested in contracting with the government must have a different 9-digit D-U-N-S number for each physical location and different address in the company, as well as each legally distinct division that may be co-housed at the same address or location. Contact Dun and Bradstreet for more information.

Definitive Contracts

Any contract that must be reported to FPDS other than an indefinite delivery vehicle.

Delivery Order under IDV

A contract for supplies that does not procure or specify a firm quantity of supplies (other than a minimum or maximum quantity) and that provides for the issuance of orders for the delivery of supplies during the period of the contract.

Entities (FFATA Definition)

include corporations, associations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, states, and localities.

FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations)

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the principal set of rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulation System.

Federal Fiscal Year

The federal government operates on a fiscal year that begins on October 1 and ends the following September 30. Fiscal years are notated with FY XXXX or FY XX. The year notates the calendar year when the fiscal year will end. For example, Fiscal Year 2010 (FY 2010) runs from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010.

FPDS-NG (Federal Procurement Data System - Next Generation)

  • Operated by GSA (General Services Administration) at http://www.fpds.gov
  • Includes procurement contract transactions reported directly through the contract writing systems of approximately 65 U.S. Government, Executive Branch, departments, bureaus, agencies, and commissions
  • Data spans contract transactions from FY 2000 onwards
  • SmallBusinessDashboard.gov is updated with FPDS-NG data on a daily basis

See - Sources of Data

Funding Accounts

These represent Treasury Account Symbols (TAS) as defined in the "Federal Account Systems and Titles Book (FAST Book)" , used when agencies report on budget execution (SF-133). The FAST Book is a supplement of the Treasury Financial Manual and lists receipt, appropriation, and other fund account symbols and titles assigned by the Department of the Treasury.

Indefinite Delivery Vehicle (IDV)

A contract action that has orders placed against it (such as Delivery Orders or Task Orders).

Major Agencies / Other Agencies

SmallBusinessDashboard.gov has modified FAADS and FPDS data to streamline the display of federal government agencies. Rather than produce tables that include each sub-agency within the data, it is advantageous to be able to produce tables and output by "major" agency. These generally correspond to departments of the federal government, but some were also chosen because they have a large number of awards/contracts. The following agencies are considered as Major Agencies in SmallBusinessDashboard:

  • Dept. of Agriculture
  • Dept. of Commerce
  • Dept. of Defense
  • Dept. of Education
  • Dept. of Energy
  • Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • Dept. of Homeland Security
  • Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
  • Dept. of Justice
  • Dept. of Labor
  • Dept. of State
  • Dept. of the Interior
  • Dept. of the Treasury
  • Dept. of Transportation
  • Dept. of Veterans Affairs
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • General Services Administration
  • NASA
  • National Science Foundation
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Office of Personnel Management
  • Small Business Administration
  • Social Security Administration
  • U.S. Agency for International Development

Negative Numbers in SmallBusinessDashboard.gov

Dollar amounts of awards in SmallBusinessDashboard.gov are actually amounts of obligations, deobligations, or negative subsidies for government loans. An obligation is a commitment to pay so these are represented as positive numbers. A deobligation is "A downward adjustment of previously recorded obligations and is the result of the cancellation of a project or contract, price revisions, or corrections of estimates previously recorded as obligations." Negative subsidy government loans are loans where the anticipated income over the life of the loans - including fees, recovery on collateral, etc. - exceeds anticipated losses in the program, according to current cost estimates. When negative numbers appear in SmallBusinessDashboard.gov, this means the amount of federal resources authorized to be spent has been reduced or represents a negative subsidy government loan where funds are being returned to the Treasury.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code

The NAICS codes are used as a categorization system within contracting data to give a higher level of detail about the type of economic or industrial output being done under a contract. These codes were created jointly by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and are assigned by the federal government according to the NAICS.

Partial Year:

In some cases, not all data for a given Fiscal Year is available on SmallBusinessDashboard.gov. In such cases, the quarter(s) for which data is available is indicated. This is always the case for the current Fiscal Year.

Place of Performance

The Place of Performance represents the geographic area where the majority of the work was done under the award/contract. The Place of Performance location is not necessarily the same as the address of the contractor/recipient base of operations. There are instances when a company based in one state has a project in another state. For example, a company with headquarters in the South may have a project in the Midwest or Northeast.

Purchase Orders

Specify the quantity of supplies or scope of services ordered and contain a determinable date by which delivery of the supplies or performance of the services is required.

Recovery Act (ARRA) Data

OMB memoranda (M-09-19) requires agencies to appropriately identify spending data captured in systems reporting spending data to SmallBusinessDashboard.

Recovery Act Spending

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) reporting requirements build upon the transparency initiated under FFATA (Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act). As required by OMB memoranda (M-09-19), agencies are required to appropriately identify spending data captured in systems reporting spending data to SmallBusinessDashboard.gov

SF-133 Report on Budget Execution and Budgetary Resources

These reports show the Budget Execution information, which fulfills the requirement in 31 U.S.C. 1511 - 1514 that the President review Federal expenditures at least four times a year.

Subsidiary Companies in SmallBusinessDashboard.gov

Many large companies may control or incorporate other smaller companies, called subsidiaries. Subsidiaries may have a different name than a parent company for a variety of business and legal reasons. SmallBusinessDashboard.gov groups subsidiaries of larger companies under the "Parent" organization, via the reported DUNS numbers. Search and drilldown paths are available for all subsidiaries in SmallBusinessDashboard.gov and will always be provided when looking at the Complete Details page.

Task Order under IDV

A contract for services that does not procure or specify a firm quantity of services (other than a minimum or maximum quantity) and that provides for the issuance of orders for the performance of tasks during the period of the contract.