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Recovery Tab Glossary

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A contract, grant, or loan from the federal government to a prime recipient, for a specific project. An award could be just one transaction or more than one transaction.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA):
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Program is a database maintained by the General Services Administration that classifies all federal programs that provide funding to local government agencies, private institutions, and individuals. Each program is assigned a number and name. See the CFDA website for more information.

Central Contracting Registration (CCR):
Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is the primary registrant database for the U.S. federal government. CCR collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency acquisition missions, including federal agency contract and assistance awards. Please note that the term "assistance awards" includes grants, cooperative agreements and other forms of federal assistance. Whether applying for assistance awards, contracts, or other business opportunities, all entities are considered "registrants". All Recovery Act prime and sub-recipients must register in CCR; vendors are not required to register.

Both current and potential federal government registrants are required to register in CCR in order to be awarded contracts by the federal government. Registrants are required to complete a one-time registration to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. Registrants must update or renew their registration at least once per year to maintain an active status. In addition, entities (private non-profits, educational organizations, state and regional agencies, etc.) that apply for assistance awards from the federal government through Grants.gov must now register with CCR as well. However, registration in no way guarantees that a contract or assistance award will be awarded. See the Central Contracting Registration webpage for more information.

A federal contract is an agreement between the federal government and a private entity, for-profit or nonprofit, to execute mandated services for a fee for the federal government.

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.

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.

Differences Between Place of Performance and Contractor/Recipient Locations
The Place of Performance search shows the geographic area where the majority of the work was done under the award. The Place of Performance location is not necessarily the same as the address of the recipient. When you fill in a city, county, or state in the recipient search, you're searching for recipients whose addresses are located within that particular city, county, or state. When users fill in a city, county, or state in the Place of Performance search, FedSpending.org searches for work done in that geographic area. Therefore, searches by the same city, county, or state in both the Place of Performance search and recipient searches will yield two different results.

Federal Fiscal Year:
The federal government operates on a fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1 and ends the following Sept. 30. Fiscal years are notated with FYXXXX or FYXX. The year notates the calendar year when the fiscal year will end. For example, fiscal year 2009 (FY09) runs from Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009.

Full-Time Equivalent:
A Recovery Act recipient-created estimate of the numbers of jobs created and retained by the recipient's Recovery Act projects. The Office of Management and Budget, which is charged with implementing the Recovery Act reporting system, left it up to the recipient to define what constituted a "full-time equivalent," but it should be based on the number of work-hours that make up a full-time job for each recipient.

It is important to note that only prime recipients report FTEs. Prime recipients collect FTE data from their sub-recipients and include it in a total FTE number that they report.

A classification of federal assistance spending in FedSpending.org. A federal grant is an authorized expenditure to a non-federal entity for a defined public or private purpose in which services are not rendered to the federal government. This classification of spending comes in two types – "formula grants" and "project grants."

Grant Recipient:
Any non-federal entity, usually a state or local government, or a private, usually nonprofit organization, such as an educational or religious institution, a relief agency, or an individual.

"invalid or blank":
This usually means there is no data reported in the government database or there is an error in the data reported to the government.

Known vs. Unknown Congressional Districts:
Each transaction is assigned to a congressional district. Unfortunately, many records have either blank congressional districts or obviously incorrect ones (i.e., a bad state abbreviation, or a district number that does not exist in that state). Since we don't have any way of knowing which CD these records apply to, they are grouped together as "unknown districts" within their state.

Congressional district errors have been well-documented in the Recovery Act data. The Recovery Board, which oversees Recovery Act data collection and dissemination, is working to correct these errors, and the FedSpending.org Recovery database will implement these changes as soon as the Board publishes the new data.

A classification of federal assistance spending in the Recovery tab of FedSpending.org.

Major Agencies / Other Agencies:
FedSpending.org has modified the data on the Recovery tab 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. See the About the Data section for more information.

National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities - Nonprofit Program Classification code (NTEE-NPC):
A classification system developed by the National Center for Charitable Statistics for categorizing the activities, purposes, and programs of nonprofit organizations. The code helps users understand in which field a nonprofit is operating. Used for grants and loans data only.

Negative Numbers on FedSpending.org's Recovery tab:
Negative numbers in the FedSpending.org Recovery Act data are due to faulty data in the recipient reports. The dollar amounts of awards in the Recovery Act data are shown as displayed in the recipient reports; that is, OMB Watch has not altered any of the reported award amounts. Therefore, for instance, if a sub-recipient accidentally reported receiving more funding than the prime recipient actually awarded to them, situations can arise where the net amount retained calculation can be negative (see example). Hopefully, such issues are temporary and will be fixed by recipients in future reporting cycles.

Net Amount Retained:
While OMB Watch has not changed the data from Recovery.gov, we have added a new field, called “Net Amount Retained.” The Net Amount Retained is the amount of money a prime recipient or sub-recipient does not pass on to another entity (such as a sub-recipient or vendor). This field is used to show the extent to which Recovery Act funds are passed from the prime recipient to a sub-recipient or a vendor without double-counting funds in the totals for searches. FedSpending.org's Recovery tab includes the "retained" calculation because it can be useful for understanding the actual amount of Recovery Act funding that stays with a certain entity or at a certain location.

For example, a search (see below or here) for how much money went to Arizona shows that prime recipients in the state received $2.8 billion; they provided $581.7 million in sub-awards and $67.8 million to vendors for a net amount retained of $2.2 billion. Note that some of the sub-awards or payments to vendors might be outside of Arizona. (The website provides different levels of detail to learn more about where the money is going.)

Sub-recipients in the state received $566.5 million; they provided $600,005 to vendors (the government is not collecting information on the amount sub-recipients provide in sub-awards) for a net amount retained of $565.9 million. Vendors in the state received $8 million from both prime and sub-recipients. Adding each of the net amounts retained plus the payments to vendors gives the total net amount of Recovery Act funds retained by Arizona recipients, which is $2.75 billion for this search.


Awards to Prime Recipient(s)
Amount awarded (from federal government):$2,830,074,575
Amount awarded to sub-recipient(s):-$581,729,102
Payments to vendor(s):-$67,770,567
Net amount retained by prime recipient(s)$2,180,574,906
Awards to Sub-Recipient(s)
Amount awarded (from prime recipients, including prime recipients outside the scope of this search): $566,467,831
Payments to vendor(s):-$600,005
Net amount retained by sub-recipient(s)$565,867,825
Received as Vendor(s)
Amount paid by prime and sub-recipients to vendor(s):$7,962,490
Total for this search:$2,754,405,222

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.

The Recovery Act guidance, which governs how the Recovery Act reporting system is implemented, created three types of Recovery Act funding recipient to help track the money and show relationships between recipients: prime recipient, sub-recipient, and vendor.

Recipient Report:
An individual record reported by a recipient, whether it is a prime recipient, sub-recipient, or vendor.

On FedSpending.org's Recovery tab, "transaction" refers to an agreement between the federal government and Recovery Act recipients, or an agreement between Recovery Act recipients, in exchange for goods or services. Recovery Act recipients can be state or local governments or private companies.