Skip Navigation


The following are definitions for technical terms and acronyms used in the data communications industry.

Accrued ExpendituresCharges incurred by a recipient during a given period requiring the provision of funds for: (1) goods and other tangible property received; (2) services performed by employees, contractors, subrecipients, and other payees; and (3) other amounts becoming owed under programs for which no current services or performance is required.
Accrued IncomeSum of: (1) earnings during a given period from (i) services performed by the recipient, and (ii) goods and other tangible property delivered to purchasers; and (2) amount becoming owed to the recipient for which no current services or performance is required by the recipient.
Acquisition Cost of EquipmentNet invoice price of the equipment, including the cost of modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make the property usable for the purpose for which it was acquired. Other charges, such as the cost of installation, transportation, taxes, duty or protective in-transit insurance, shall be included or excluded from the unit acquisition cost in accordance with the recipient’s regular accounting practices.
Adobe ReaderA free software that will allow you to access, complete and submit application packages electronically and securely through Please be sure you have the compatible version installed.
Advance PaymentA payment made to a recipient upon its request either before outlays are made by the recipient or through the use of predetermined payment schedules.
Agency Enrollment CodeA federal grantor agency identifier within the system; which links grantor users to their participating grantor agency and enables the grantor agency “Super User” to assign rights and responsibilities to members of their agency. The agency enrollment code is required for grantor registration and is only given to members of a grantor agency responsible for managing opportunities, application review, generating reports and other grantor functions at This is NOT required for applicants applying for grants.
Agency Specific Data SetsData that an agency collects in addition to data on any of the SF-424 series forms.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009The economic stimulus package of $787 billion (Also known as the “Recovery Act”, was signed into law by the President on February 17, 2009; it is the economic stimulus package of $787 billion. “Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes”.
Application PackageA group of specific forms and documents for a specific funding opportunity which are used to apply for a grant.
Application Package TemplateOne or more forms and documents which can be reused for multiple opportunity-specific application packages.
ARRASee: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Authorized Organization Representative (AOR)An AOR submits a grant on behalf of a company, organization, institution, or government. Only an AOR has the authority to sign and submit grant applications.
AwardFinancial assistance that provides support or stimulation to accomplish a public purpose. Awards include grants and other agreements in the form of money or property in lieu of money, by the federal government to an eligible recipient. The term does not include: technical assistance, which provides services instead of money; other assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, or insurance; direct payments of any kind to individuals; and contracts which are required to be entered into and administered under federal procurement laws and regulations.

A payment made or an entitlement available in accordance with a wage agreement, an insurance policy, or a public assistance program. 

Benefits.govFederal website created by the White House in 2002 to provide citizens with easy online access to government benefit and assistance programs, established to launch and manage a diverse portfolio of government-to-citizen, government-to-business and government-to-government websites. Operated, managed and supported by federal agency partnerships, these initiatives provide high-quality solutions such as citizen tax filing, federal rulemaking, electronic training, and benefit information delivery. The beneficiaries include citizens, businesses and federal and state government employees.
Cage CodeA five-character code which identifies companies doing, or planning to do business with the federal government and is assigned through the SAM.
Cash ContributionsA recipient’s cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the recipient by third parties.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)An online database of all federal programs available to state and local governments, federally-recognized Indian tribal governments, territories and possessions of the United States, domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions, specialized groups, and individuals.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) NumberThe identifying number that a federal program is assigned in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).  
Central Contractor Registration (CCR)The Central Contractor Registry (CCR) was the primary vendor database for the U.S. federal government. CCR functionality was migrated to the System for Award Management (SAM) in late July 2012.
CloseoutProcess by which the awarding agency determines that all applicable administrative actions and all required work of the award have been completed by the recipient and the awarding agency.
Competition ID

A grantor selected ID that allows further distinction of the funding opportunity number which allows applications with the same funding opportunity number to be assigned unique identifiers.


ContractA procurement contract under an award or subaward, and a procurement subcontract under a recipient's or subrecipient’s contract.
Congressional DistrictOne of a fixed number of districts into which a state is divided, each district electing one member to the national House of Representatives.  
CookieA piece of information sent by a Web server to a Web browser that the browser software is expected to save and to send back to the server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the server. Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the browsers' settings, the browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for either a short time or a long time.
Cooperative AgreementAn award of financial assistance that is used to enter into the same kind of relationship as a grant; and is distinguished from a grant in that it provides for substantial involvement between the federal agency and the recipient in carrying out the activity contemplated by the award.
Cost Sharing or MatchingThe portion of project or program costs not borne by the federal government.
Current Accounting PeriodThe period of time the recipient chooses for purposes of financial statements and audits.
Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)A unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).
Date of CompletionThe date on which all work under an award is completed or the date on the award document, or any supplement or amendment thereto, on which awarding agency sponsorship ends.
Disallowed CostsCharges to an award that the awarding agency determines to be unallowable, in accordance with the applicable federal cost principles or other terms and conditions contained in the award.
Discretionary GrantA grant (or cooperative agreement) for which the federal awarding agency generally may select the recipient from among all eligible recipients, may decide to make or not make an award based on the programmatic, technical, or scientific content of an application, and can decide the amount of funding to be awarded.
DownloadTransferring data (usually a file) from another computer to the computer you are using.
Earmark GrantsEarmark grants are grants that are appropriated by Congress prior to a peer review. The term "earmark" is a reference to the Congressional Record where the awards are written into the legislation specifically with the grant applicant's name, activity and dollar amounts.
E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC)An E-Business Point of Contact is responsible for the administration and management of grant activities in his/her organization. The E-Biz POC authorizes representatives of their organization (See: Authorized Organization Representative (AOR)) to submit grant applications through An E-Biz POC must also register as an AOR to submit an application.
E-GovOffice of E-Government & Information Technology (E-Gov) is a part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) electronic government initiative. Created in an effort to use technology to provide and improve government services, transactions and interactions with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.

A government program that guarantees and provides benefits to a particular group.

EquipmentTangible nonexpendable personal property, including exempt property, charged directly to the award and having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. However, consistent with recipient policy, lower limits may be established.
Excess PropertyProperty under the control of an awarding agency that, as determined by the head of the awarding agency or his/her delegate, is no longer required for the agency's needs or the discharge of its responsibilities.
Exempt PropertyTangible personal property acquired in whole or in part with federal funds, where the awarding agency has statutory authority to vest title in the recipient without further obligation to the federal government. An example of exempt property authority is contained in the federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, 31 U.S.C. 6306, for property acquired under an award to conduct basic or applied research by a nonprofit institution of higher education or nonprofit organization whose principal purpose is conducting scientific research.
FedBizOpps.govSingle point-of-entry for commercial vendors and government buyers to post, search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire federal contracting community.
Federal Share of Real Property, Equipment, or SuppliesThe percentage of the properties or supplies acquisition costs and any improvement expenditures paid with federal funds. This will be the same percentage as the federal share of the total costs under the award for the funding period in which the property was acquired (excluding the value of third party in-kind contributions).
Federally Recognized Indian Tribal GovernmentThe governing body of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community (including any Native village as defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act certified by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the special programs and services provided by him through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Fedgrants.govA web site that has been shut down. When it was live, its purpose was to enable users to search for grant opportunities.
Financial AssistanceThe transfer of a thing of value from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States (see 31 U.S.C. 6101(3)). An agency may provide financial assistance through various types of transactions, including grants, cooperative agreements, loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, insurance, food commodities, direct appropriations, and transfers of property in place of money.
Funding Opportunity AnnouncementA publicly available document by which a federal agency makes known its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. Funding opportunity announcements may be known as program announcements, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the agency and type of program. Funding opportunity announcements can be found at and on the Internet at the funding agency’s or program’s website.
Funding Opportunity NumberThe number that a federal agency assigns to its grant announcement. 
Funding PeriodThe period of time when federal funding is available for obligation by the recipient.
GovernmentA State or local government or a federally recognized Indian tribal government.
Grace PeriodThis period reflects the number of days after the closing date that will continue to accept applications for a grant opportunity. It also represents the day (Closing Date + Grace Period) that applicants will no longer be able to download the application package. This value is entered by an agency when creating a grant opportunity and is not visible to grant applicants.
GrantAn award of financial assistance, the principal purpose of which is to transfer a thing of value from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States (see 31 U.S.C. 6101(3)). A grant is distinguished from a contract, which is used to acquire property or services for the federal government's direct benefit or use.
Grants Policy Committee (GPC)

Established by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Council (under 

P.L. 106-107

 [EXIT Disclaimer]), consists of grants policy experts from across the federal government. GPC's vision is to improve the effectiveness of federal financial assistance by:

  • Simplifying the application process
  • Streamlining financial assistance award and administration
  • Improving quality and timeliness of information related to assistance
  • Improving stewardship of federal dollars
Grants.govA storefront web portal for use in electronic collection of data (forms and reports) for federal grant-making agencies through the site. ( Tracking NumberA number set used by which is used to identify each application it receives.
 Individual An Individual submits a grant on their behalf, and not on behalf of a company, organization, institution, or government. Individuals sign the grant application and its associated certifications and assurances that are necessary to fulfill the requirements of the application process. 
Intangible Property and Debt InstrumentsIncludes trademarks, copyrights, patents and patent applications, and such property as loans, notes and other debt instruments, lease agreements, stock and other instruments of property ownership, whether considered tangible or intangible.
Inter-Agency Electronic Grants Committee (IAEGC)An organization which encourages and assists federal agencies in developing electronic grants systems and standardizing electronic commerce methodologies throughout the federal government. The IAEGC is chartered to Grants.Gov Program Management Office.
Local GovernmentA local unit of government, including specifically a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority, school district, special district, intra-state district, council of governments (whether or not incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under State law), any other regional or interstate entity, or any agency or instrumentality of local government.
LoginThe act of connecting to a computer system by giving your credentials (usually your "username" and "password").
Mandatory FormsMandatory forms are the forms that are required for the application. Please note that a mandatory form must be completed before the system will allow the applicant to submit the application package.
Mandatory GrantA grant (or cooperative agreement) awarded under a program where the authorizing statute requires the head of the agency or designee to make an award to each eligible entity under the conditions and in the amount (or based on the formula) specified in the statute.
Marketing Partner ID (MPIN)A personal code that allows you to access other government applications such as the Past Performance Automated System, DoDBusOpps and TeDS. The MPIN may act as your password in these other systems. You make up the code and register it in SAM. The MPIN must have 9 digits containing at least one alpha character (must be in capital letters) and one number (no spaces or special characters permitted).
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) CodeA code with a maximum of six digits used to classify business establishments. This code will be replacing the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code.
ObligationsThe amounts of orders placed, contracts and grants awarded, services received and similar transactions during a given period that require payment by the recipient during the same or a future period.
Opportunity CategoryA field located on the Grant Opportunity Properties screen within The Opportunity Category field values include Discretionary, Mandatory, Earmark, and Continuation. The Opportunity Category field was added to the site to assist with aggregating opportunities and application packages for public and private displays on the site. For example, there are links which show grant opportunities and packages recently posted to the site. Those opportunities and packages with a category type of Earmarked or Continuation will not show up on these public listings.
Optional FormsOptional forms are the forms that can be used to provide additional support for an application, but are not required to complete the application package.
OrganizationA grant applicant who is submitting a grant on behalf of a company, state, local or tribal government, academic or research institution, not-for-profit, or any other type of institution. 
Outlays or ExpendituresCharges made to the project or program, which may be reported on a cash or accrual basis.
PasswordA code used to gain access to along with a username. Good passwords contain letters and numbers (i.e.,Virtue7) and must not be found in any dictionary.
PDFA file format designed to enable printing and viewing of documents with all their formatting (typefaces, images, layout, etc.) appearing the same regardless of what operating system is used, so a PDF document should look the same on Windows, Macintosh, Linux, OS/2, etc.
Personal PropertyProperty of any kind except real property. It may be tangible, having physical existence, or intangible, having no physical existence, such as copyrights, patents, or securities.
Point of Contact (POC)An individual who is designated as the person responsible for authorization and maintenance of information on behalf of a SAM registrant, coordinating communication among organizations.
Prefixed FilenameAttachment filenames may appear verbose because many are prefixed to include the form name, field name, unique number and attachment name (attachment name which was entered by the applicant) as one entire filename. Not all attachments are prefixed exactly the same, but you will be able to recognize the filename entered by the applicant by reading through the entire line of the filename text.

Example filename:
RR_Budget RR_Budget-BudgetYear1-1234-Equipment.pdf application/pdf (size 611871 bytes)

* This is a general guideline and the attachments might be prefixed differently depending on the form and if it was submitted via the application package or by System to System. Also “Form in Form” will not be listed here, but the file attachment inside the Form in Form will be listed.

Breakdown of filename explanation:

RR_Budget: Form name

RR_Budget: Form name (starting of the attachment prefix)

BudgetYear1: Field name

1234: Unique 4 digit number (not included in S2S attachments)

Equipment.pdf: Attachment name as provided by the applicant
Prior ApprovalWritten approval by an authorized awarding agency official evidencing prior consent.
ProfileApplicant information stored in the system for the purpose of identifying a user.
Program IncomeGross income earned by the recipient that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the award.
Project CostsAll allowable costs, as set forth in the applicable federal cost principles (see Sec. 74.27), incurred by a recipient and the value of the contributions made by third parties in accomplishing the objectives of the award during the project period.
Project PeriodThe period established in the award document during which awarding agency sponsorship begins and ends.
PropertyReal property, equipment, intangible property and debt instruments.
Real PropertyLand, including land improvements, structures and appurtenances thereto, but excludes movable machinery and equipment.
RecipientAn organization receiving financial assistance directly from an awarding agency to carry out a project or program.

Federal website established in order to accomplish the mission set out in the Recovery Act, and provide information for the public to monitor the progress of the stimulus package. features:

  • Weekly updates of the agencies' funding notifications and financial and activity reports
  • Map presenting state-by-state funding
  • Graphs charting the weekly progress of agencies’ made available and paid-out funds
  • Map showing the recipients of funds and the resulting projects
  • Written reports on the agencies' plans for where and how they'll spend the funds
  • Information on federal contracts, grants and loans, a map illustrating the estimates of jobs to be created or saved and links to job information sites
  • Links to state recovery sites and other government recovery sites
  • Tools for the public to report for waste, fraud and abuse of recovery funds
  • Oversight audits by the Inspectors General of each agency
Recovery ActSee: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Research and DevelopmentAll research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are supported at universities, colleges, hospitals, other nonprofit institutions, and commercial organizations. Research is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Development is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes. The term research also includes activities involving training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.
ResearcherA Grant Researcher writes, prepares, and/or searches for grant applications on their behalf, or on behalf of a company, organization, institution, or government, but do not plan to sign the grant application or its associated certifications and assurances.
Role ManagerThe person listed as the Point of Contact for a specific grantor agency or sub-agency. This person will receive any email notifications about application submissions, depending on the option selected in the agency's profile.
Secret AnswerAnswer to "secret question" created during the registration process, in order to reset username and password.
Secret QuestionQuestion created during registration, used to reset username and password information, if username and/or password is forgotten or requested.
SIC CodeBeing replaced by the NAIC code, a code that was used to classify business establishments.
Standard Form 424 (SF-424) Series FormsStandard government-wide grant application forms including:
SF-424 (Application for federal Assistance cover page);
SF-424A (Budget Information Non-construction Programs);
SF-424B (Assurances Non-construction Programs;
SF-424C (Budget Information Construction Programs); and
SF-424D (Assurances Construction Programs).
Plus named attachments including Project Narrative and Budget Narrative.
Stimulus PackageSee: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
SubawardAn award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a recipient to an eligible subrecipient or by a subrecipient to a lower tier subrecipient. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include procurement of goods and services nor does it include any form of assistance which is excluded from the definition of award.
SubrecipientThe legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided.
SuppliesAll personal property excluding equipment, intangible property, and debt instruments as defined in this section, and inventions of a contractor conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the performance of work under a funding agreement.
SuspensionA post-award action by the awarding agency that temporarily withdraws the agency’s financial assistance sponsorship under an award, pending corrective action by the recipient or pending a decision to terminate the award.
Synopsis of Funding OpportunitySummary information extracted from or based on the funding opportunity announcement that is electronically posted at the government-wide website known as The posting at includes a direct link to the funding opportunity announcement or includes an uploaded copy of the funding opportunity announcement.
System RequirementsComputer functionality and programming which is required in order for a specific program to operate.
System for Award Management (SAM)SAM validates applicant information and electronically shares the secure and encrypted data with the federal agencies' finance offices to facilitate paperless payments through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The SAM stores your organizational information, allowing to verify your identity and to pre-fill organizational information on your grant applications.
Trading Partner Identification Number (TPIN)An identification number. The restricted access number assigned by SAM to the main SAM Point of Contact who manages information for the SAM registrant.
TerminationThe cancellation of awarding agency sponsorship, in whole or in part, under an agreement at any time prior to the date of completion.
Third Party In-Kind ContributionsThe value of non-cash contributions provided by non-federal third parties. Third party in-kind contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, and the value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the project or program.
Unobligated BalanceThe portion of the funds authorized by an awarding agency that has not been obligated by the recipient and is determined by deducting the cumulative obligations from the cumulative funds authorized.
UploadTransferring data (usually a file) from the computer you are using to another computer.
USA.govThe official web portal of the United States Government created to improve U.S. Government interactions with the public; by offering links to every federal agency to help website visitors quickly find information to the services they seek. features links to every federal, state, local, and tribal government agency.
User GuideA well-indexed, comprehensive guide to reference information about
UsernameThe ID (plus password) which allows access into the system and application package submission.
XMLA widely used system for defining data formats. XML provides a very rich system to define complex documents and data structures such as invoices, molecular data, news feeds, glossaries, inventory descriptions, real estate properties, etc.

Quick Links

Latest News! Blog External Web Site Policy



Policies & Disclaimers | FOIA | No FEAR Act | Accessibility | Viewers & Players | Contact Us | Help | Site Map

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services | - Government Made Easy | | | | DUNS Request Description: External Web Site Policy | | Federal Student Aid