Are you a vendor looking for contracting opportunities or a current CBO vendor wondering how to submit an invoice? You'll find answers to some frequently asked questions below.
I am a contractor interested in selling a product or service to CBO.
What does CBO buy?
CBO’s purchases typically include the following:
- Desktop and laptop computers
- IT network equipment and software
- Commercial software (productivity suites, graphics suites, utilities, and so forth)
- Annual IT maintenance agreements
- IT consulting services
- Data services
- Subscriptions to online collections and print publications
How does CBO buy items?
CBO purchases most items by either issuing competitive requests for quotations or ordering from General Services Administration (GSA) schedules. The majority of CBO’s acquisitions are conducted using streamlined procedures. Most competitive acquisitions estimated to cost $100,000 or more are advertised through FedBizOpps.
How does CBO issue solicitations?
How do I know if an email is a legitimate CBO email?
In general, emails from CBO will come from an address that ends with “@cbo.gov,” such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Look at both the sender’s display name and the actual email address.
Be suspicious of communications that purport to come from CBO but which originate from email addresses that do not end with “@cbo.gov.” Do not respond to any such messages or follow any links. To verify the validity of an email or other purported CBO message, you should contact the alleged sender of the email using a telephone number or address obtained from somewhere other than the suspicious email and, for procurement-related messages, contact email@example.com or (202) 226-9850.
You may also report spam to the Federal Trade Commission and internet crimes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Where do I submit my proposal or quote?
The delivery of mail and packages can be delayed by two weeks or longer because of screening procedures. Therefore, CBO recommends that you submit offers by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to (202) 226-2714. Please remember to check the specific requirements of the solicitation to which you are responding (for such things as evaluation factors and the need for samples).
What are CBO’s standard terms and conditions?
CBO's standard terms and conditions apply to all of its acquisitions, including those made with CBO purchase cards. Depending on the estimated dollar amount of the acquisition and the specific requirements, additional clauses and provisions may be included. You may also be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
I am a CBO vendor and would like to get paid.
How do I provide financial information for payment?
CBO must have your financial information prior to awarding a purchase order or contract. CBO uses the financial information in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database as its primary source. If your company is not registered with CCR, CBO asks that you complete a vendor survey form. Once the financial information is entered in CBO’s payment system, you must notify CBO of any changes. CBO does NOT receive automatic updates from the CCR database.
How should I format my invoices for CBO?
CBO does not have a required form or format for invoices against purchase orders or contracts. Contract invoices must contain the following information, at a minimum:
- Name and address of the contractor
- Invoice number and date
- Contractor’s tax identification number
- Purchase order or contract number
- Description, quantity, unit of measure, unit price, and extended price of supplies delivered or services rendered
- Name, title, phone number, and mailing address of person to be notified in the event of a deficient invoice
- Any other information or documentation required by the contract or purchase order
How do I get reimbursed for travel to/from CBO?
You may request reimbursement for travel only if travel costs were approved in advance and specifically included in the purchase order or contract or other authorizing document. Travel reimbursement rates will be specified in the contract.
I need to deliver items to CBO.
Before proceeding to the loading dock or the street-level delivery site for the Ford House Office Building on Virginia Avenue, SW, all delivery vehicles (except those of the U.S. Postal Service) are required to report to the U.S. Capitol Police’s Off-Site Delivery Center for inspection:
Off-Site Delivery Center
4700 Shepherd Parkway, SW
No deliveries will be accepted unless the vehicles have been processed at the Off-Site Delivery Center. The center’s hours of operation are from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
In order to gain access to the loading docks or loading sites in the U.S. Capitol complex, delivery companies are required to have a letter on file with the U.S. Capitol Police. The letter must be on company letterhead accompanied by the signature of the owner, president, or manager. The names of all persons requesting access should be typed or printed in alphabetical order. Requests for access should contain the following information:
- Name of the delivery company
- Name of each driver and employee requiring access
- Social Security number of each driver and employee requiring access
- Date of birth of each driver and employee requiring access
- Building(s) to be accessed
- Company contact person and phone number
This information must be provided to:
United States Capitol Police
Fax: (202) 226-0571
CBO recommends that the required information be provided to the U.S. Capitol Police prior to an anticipated delivery and that a copy of the company letter requesting access be included with the shipping manifest. Requests for access must be renewed three times per year: April 30, August 31, and December 31. Any questions can be directed to the Operations Division of the U.S. Capitol Police at the telephone number listed above.
I want to know which laws affect CBO’s procurement policies.
What laws govern how CBO buys?
CBO is a legislative branch agency and not subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). However, CBO is subject to some of the same procurement and procurement-related legislation applicable to the executive branch. Some of the relevant laws are these:
That is not an exhaustive list; each acquisition contains clauses and provisions specific to its requirements. The terms and provisions of any procurement undertaken by CBO shall comply with Federal laws, including with regard to indemnification by the government, automatic renewal, governing law, and venue. Clauses that require indemnification by the government and automatic renewal can violate the Antideficiency Act; the former could obligate the government to make payments of unspecified amounts, and the latter could obligate the government to make payments for a fiscal year for which no appropriation exists. The law that applies to the government and the venue in which disputes with the government will be resolved are two aspects of sovereign immunity. Without an act of Congress, CBO is not authorized to waive sovereign immunity on behalf of the U.S. government.
Although not subject to the FAR, CBO uses best business practices of the FAR to develop many of its acquisition processes. Therefore, CBO’s procurements are similar in appearance and procedure to other government contracts. For example, the Commercial Item Format may be used for supplies and services, and, as mentioned, most procurements estimated to exceed $100,000 are advertised at FedBizOpps.
Don't see your question? Contact our acquisitions office.