Acquisition Management - Vendors
Welcome commercial vendors! Are you currently under contract or interested in doing business with us? Use this portal as your one-stop shop for getting things done. Click on the "How to Sign Up" link if you are new to doing incident business with us. Click on the "Current Vendors" link if you are already under contract or responding to a solicitation from us.
- How to Sign Up
- Current Vendors
Interested in doing business with the Forest Service?
Here are the basics of what is needed to become compliant with Government regulations and interact with our systems.
Obtain an eMail Address: If you don’t already have one, obtain a valid email address. You can obtain one from your internet service provider (ISP) or you can use one of the many free services available on the Web. A valid email address is required to register with Data Universal Number System (DUNS), System for Award Management (SAM), and eAuthentication.
Obtain a D-U-N-S® Number: The Data Universal Number System code is required by the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR 52.204-6) and you must have this before registering in the System for Award Management (SAM). Register online at D&B DUNS Number site for government contractors.
Obtain an IRS TIN: For invoicing, payment, and tax purposes, you must have a Taxpayer Identification Number as required by the IRS. For privacy and security purposes, we recommend that you do not use your Social Security Number (SSN).
Register with SAM: In order to do business with the Federal Government (as required by FAR 4.11), you must register in the System for Award Management (SAM). You are required to validate your information in SAM once per year. Even if you do not have any updates, you must access SAM at least once every 12 months to keep your SAM account active. The Government cannot make payments to vendors with an expired or inactive SAM account.
Register for a USDA eAuthentication account: The individual from your company who will be signing your preseason incident agreement with the Forest Service must obtain a Level 2 eAuthentication account in order to transact business with the government. NOTE: You MUST access your eAuthentication account at least once every 90 days to keep your account from being deactiviated.
Register at FedBizOpps and watch for business opportunities: Every competitive solicitation we offer is first posted to FBO, which provides you with government-wide business opportunities. Every solicitation is different, so carefully read the instructions on how to submit your offers.
Are you already doing business with us?
Major efforts are underway to simplify and streamline our systems to make it easier to work with us and to provide more efficient processing of payments. Until those efforts are completed, the steps below should help you navigate the current mix of systems.
Aviation Contractors: Anyone currently under contract for aviation services can work directly with your contracting officer or contracting officer’s representative (COR). For invoicing and payment purposes, you must use your eAuthentication account to access the Aviation Business System (ABS).
Equipment Contractors: All preseason incident agreements are administered in the Virtual Incident Procurement system, or VIPR. Please visit the VIPR Web site for more information.
Future Plans & System Enhancements
The Forest Service AQM staff is working hard to standardize the procurement process across all regions and encourage open competition for all who participate. Efforts include a National Solicitation Plan for I-BPAs which specifies when each type of equipment or service is scheduled to be competed with national standard specifications and a consistent process for Contractor Performance Evaluations.
We continue to explore new technology and other system enhancements to ensure VIPR is an efficient, effective tool. You can keep up with our progress by visiting the Virtual Incident Procurement (VIPR) project.
- VIPR Is Interconnected with the System for Award Management (SAM)
In order to do business with the Government, vendors MUST have an active SAM account. For vendors who use VIPR, they MUST ensure certain company information they provide in VIPR matches the same type of information that is found in their SAM record. VIPR and SAM share the following vendor company information:
- Company Name
- Company DBA
- Company Address
- Mailing Address
Ensuring the above information matches in both systems is critical in order for payments to be made to vendors.
To assist vendors with keeping their company information in sync across both systems, VIPR now has an interconnection with SAM. VIPR will do validation checks against SAM data throughout various phases in the procurement process:
- When a vendor registers in the VIPR vendor application, VIPR will display the company name and DBA from SAM so the vendor can verify they entered the DUNS correctly.
- A vendor will be able to submit quotes to VIPR solicitations; however, if their SAM record is expired or their company information in VIPR does not match what is in SAM, then the vendor will be ineligible to receive awards by Contracting Officers.
- If a vendor has changed their company information in SAM and they have not updated that company information in VIPR to reflect those changes, then the vendor will be unable to respond to modifications to their agreement until they import their updated company information from SAM into VIPR. (The vendor application provides vendors with an "Import from SAM" function.)
- If a vendor's SAM record has expired since receiving their award, then the vendor will be unable to respond to modifications to their agreement until they get their SAM record re-activated.
- 2014 Solicitations Are Now Available Using Vendor Application
The 2014 resources being re-solicited are Clerical Support Units, Communication Trailers, Crew Carrier Buses, Fallers, Fuel Tenders, Heavy Equipment, Helicopter Operations Support Trailers, GIS Units, Mechanic with Service Trucks, Tents and Tents-Canopies, and Vehicle with Drivers. Use the VIPR vendor application to respond to these solicitations.
- "Generic" Solicitations Information
Contracting Officers may be issuing "generic" solicitations, which are designed to solicit for various local equipment and services not listed on the National Solicitation Plan for I-BPAs, but may be identified on the Method of Hire (MOH) chart located in the Interagency Incident Business Management Handbook (IIBMH). Interagency Incident Business Management Handbook (IIBMH). An example of a generic solicitation might be "Short School Type Bus." Vendors can use the "Generic" resource group in the vendor application to add their resources that do not fall into any of the standard resource groups into the vendor application. Vendors will follow the same quote submittal process, but will use their generic resources to submit quotes on the "generic" solicitations.
- eAuthentication Level 2 Accounts
All vendors wishing to obtain a preseason incident agreement (either new or existing) with the Forest Service must use the new Virtual Incident Procurement (VIPR) application. Using VIPR will require that vendors obtain a Level 2 eAuthentication Account.→read more
Read more about VIPR Level 2 eAuth requirements.
If you have entered into a preseason incident agreement with the Forest Service in the past, you should have received a letter in fall 2008 from your local Contracting Officer about the new security requirements including eAuthentication. A Level 2 Instructions Guide is provided here for your reference.
- News about VIPR!
The Virtual Incident Procurement (VIPR) system was successfully introduced to production in January of 2009. Forest Service regions use VIPR to issue solicitations and award agreements for resources secured under preseason agreements. For information on the types of resources and the schedule the Forest Service follows to solicit, check out the National Solicitation Plan.