Procurements Over $10,000

If TTS needs to purchase something over $10,000, a warranted Contracting Officer (CO) from the Office of Acquisition (OA) will need to help you through the process.

Here are the steps involved in an acquisition over $10,000:

1. Gather materials and submit an intake form

  • Complete the technical requirements. You’ll need to attach this document to your intake form, and it’s crucial that your need is clear and well-defined.
  • Identify a FAC-COR-certified Contracting Officer Representative (COR) on the team to help manage the buy.
  • Know what funding you have; the CO will have some questions about funding (no-year, multi-year, ASF/FCSF funding, estimated budget, etc.), and the process goes more smoothly if you’re prepared to answer these questions.
  • If your request is for software, please note that it is your responsibility to get an Authority to Operate (ATO). GSA IT asks technical questions to check on security and you are probably the best point of contact (POC) to answer their questions. The steps to find or get an ATO is outlined in TTS Handbook-Software-ATO section.
  • You will also need your director’s approval prior to submitting the form.
  • Once you have that information, fill out the Intake Form to submit your request for acquisition support.

2. Initiation/kick-off meeting

The OA will contact you within 3 business days of submitting the intake form to set up some time with you and your team to review the technical requirements, roles/responsibilities, and project milestones.

3. Preparing the acquisition package

There are lot of documents that need to be created before we can buy anything. Below we explain the purpose of these documents and who’s responsible for creating each one. Check back soon and we will have templates for each document!

Documents you’ll need for any acquisition

  • Statement of Work (SOW)/Performance Work Statement (PWS)/Statement of Objectives (SOO) summarizes what you’re buying and why the government needs it.
    • Who drafts it: The customer (you)
  • Market Research Report outlines the current state of the market for your need and who can provide this product/service. This may include releasing a Request for Information (RFI), where we survey the marketplace and directly ask potential vendors about what we are planning to buy. An RFI can add to the overall timeline.
    • Who drafts it: The customer (you)
  • IGCE details an estimate of the cost for the product/service.
    • Who drafts it: The customer (you)
  • PR/IX Funding Document ensures you have the funding for this buy.
    • Who drafts it: The customer (you)

Specific justifications (if needed)

  • Limited Sources or Brand Name: Strong defense of why a particular brand/vendor/etc. is the only source that can meet your need.
    • Who drafts it: CO and the customer (you)
  • Contract Type (for Labor Hour and Time and Material (T&M)): May be required to explain why the need cannot be bought using a firm fixed price.
    • Who drafts it: CO
  • Acquisition Plan: This is a required document for buys over $250k. It includes a brief statement of our need, the market research findings, the expected cost, vendors that can provide a solution (sources), competition, evaluation of potential vendors (evaluation criteria), contract type (firm fixed price, labor hour/time and materials, etc), any risks, projected timeline, etc.
    • Who drafts it: CO and the customer (you)
  • Request For Quote (RFQ): This is the public facing document where we explain to vendors what we need, how they need to submit quotes, and how we will evaluate their submissions.
    • Who drafts it: CO (with some help from the customer (you))
  • Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan (QASP), if applicable: This is used to manage the contractor’s performance and ensure they are delivering the results specified in the Performance Work Statement (PWS). It provides details about how the government will review the contractor’s work to ensure we’re getting what we’re paying for.
    • Who drafts it: CO & the customer (you)

4. Posting the solicitation

We documented what we need and what’s required, per federal and agency regulations, so now we can post it to the public and see who can deliver!

The COs have several venues where we can post the RFQ and supporting documentation: GSA ebuy, FedBizOpps, and Github. The CO will be responsible for this action.

5. Evaluating vendors

Hopefully, we received interest from industry and have multiple responses from the vendor community. We then review each quote from vendors and evaluate according to the evaluation criteria stated in the RFQ.

Before we evaluate vendors’ quotes, the customer (you) are responsible for setting up a Technical Evaluation Team made up of 2-3 technical subject-matter experts.

Vendor evaluation includes these documents:

  • Technical Evaluation Plan: instructs the Technical Evaluation Team how to evaluate each quote in accordance with the criteria stated in the RFQ.
    • Who drafts it: CO
  • Consensus Report: summarizes the technical evaluation team’s results from their evaluations and their technical recommendation for the award.
    • Who drafts it: The customer (you) and their Technical Evaluation Team
  • Price Analysis: determination that the submitted quotes are fair and reasonable. The government may use various resources to make this determination (IGCE, Multiple Award Schedule pricelists, CALC tool, industry resources, etc.).
    • Who drafts it: CO

6. Making award

Using the Technical Evaluations Team’s consensus report and the price analysis, the CO makes the decision of which vendor will provide the best value to the government and drafts an Award Decision Memo.

The CO will use a contract writing system to make the contract award and have the signed form (by both the government and contractor) with the official contract number (Procurement Instrument Identifier).

7. Post-award: COR Designation

You may be thinking, “Yay! The award has been made, and I have a contract! All the work is done.” WRONG! The fun has just begun.

It’s the government’s responsibility to monitor the contractor’s performance to ensure the contract’s articulated outcomes are being achieved. To do this, we assign a Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) to aid in the post-award contract management. This is usually someone from the customer’s team.

The COR Delegation Letter details the responsibilities of the COR for the contract. The CO prepares the letter and the COR reviews and signs it.

In addition to monitoring the contractor’s performance, other post-award tasks may include: managing vendor/government relationships, issuing technical direction, reviewing and approving invoices, writing inspection/performance reports, and tracking payments to indicate remaining balance of funds.

8. Contract Modifications

Once your contract is awarded, it’s possible that you may need to modify the contract to reflect in-scope changes. Please note that only your Contracting Officer (CO) can modify the contract in two ways: unilaterally (the government CO signs) or bilaterally (the government CO and contractor sign). For an example, the CO must designate a new Contracting Officer’s Representatives (COR) for the contract if the current COR leaves TTS or is no longer able to carry on the COR duties.

Here are some of the potential modifications we could make to your contract:

  • Administrative Modification (ie. New CO or COR)
  • Period of Performance Extension
  • Exercise of Option Period and/or Optional Services
  • Incrementally Fund Time & Material (T&M)/Labor Hour (LH) CLIN
  • Change Order/Supplemental Agreement for work within scope

If you have a modification that needs to be made to your contract please fill out this contract modification form as soon as you know the modification is necessary and your CO will contact you right away.

9. Contractor Performance Assessment Report (CPARS)

For contracts over the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), the government is obligated to evaluate contractor performance. This evaluation will happen at the end of each Period of Performance (PoP), after the work under that PoP has been completed. The CO will initiate the CPARS form and route it to you to evaluate the work of your contractor. Performance information should be entered directly into the CPARS, also the Governmentwide evaluation reporting tool. Instructions for submitting evaluations into CPARS are available at After you submit the evaluation, it will go to your contractor POC for review. The evaluations are automatically finalized after 14 days, including any comments the contractor add to the review. This may sound overwhelming, but kindly note that your CO will guide you through the entire process. Please contact your CO if you have any questions.

10. Contract Close Out

After all work under a contract has been delivered, it is time to close out the contract. To initiate the contract closeout process, your CO will ask you for a final report of the services and/or products received and the contractor’s final invoice. The CO will also confirm with the OCFO that all payment has been made to the contractor. Generally, a contract will be considered complete after the CO receives this information and your CO prepares a contract completion statement. After your CO marks the contract closed in the contract writing system, the contract is officially closed and you are finished!

Still have questions?

Ask in Slack: #tts-oa-internalbuy