Glossary of Defense Contracting Terms (D)

This Glossary provides you with the most frequently used terms in government and military base contracting. Familiarity with the language of government contracting is essential for doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) and working with contracting offices at military bases and DoD agencies.  You may also find it helpful to use our master list of Acronyms frequently used in DoD contracting.


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View ACRONYMS used in Defense Contracting


DEBARMENT    Excludes contractor from government contracting and government approved subcontracting for a reasonable, specified period of time.

DECREMENT FACTOR    A percentage used to indicate the relative difference between a proposed price and a recommended should-pay price. A percentage by which a subcontract reduces its subcontract price, if for example, the prime contractor purchases more than a specified amount of supplies.

DEDUCTION     The amount deducted from the contract sum by a change order.

DEFENSE ACQUISITION REGULATORY COUNCIL (DARC)    A group composed of representatives from each Military department, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in charge of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) on a joint basis with the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC).

DEFENSE CONTRACT AUDIT AGENCY (DCAA)    For contractors other than educational institutions and nonprofit organizations, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) is normally the agency responsible for performing Government contract audits.

DEFENSE FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATIONS SUPPLEMENT (DFARS)             A supplement to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) that provides Department of Defense (DOD) specific acquisition regulations.

DEFERRED COMPENSATION    An award made by an employer to compensate an employee in a future cost accounting period or periods for services rendered in one or more cost accounting periods before the date of the receipt of compensation by the employee. This definition must not include the amount of year end accruals for salaries, wages, or bonuses that are to be paid within a reasonable period of time after the end of a cost accounting period.

DEFICIENCY    A material failure of a proposal to meet a Government requirement or a combination of significant weaknesses in a proposal that increases the risk of unsuccessful contract performance to an unacceptable level.

DEFINITE-QUANTITY CONTRACT     An indefinite-delivery contract that provides for delivery of a definite quantity of specific supplies or services for a fixed period, with deliveries or performance to be scheduled at designated locations upon order.

DELEGATE AGENCY   An agency of the U.S. Government authorized by delegation from Department of Commerce to place priority ratings on contracts that support authorized programs. Schedule I of the DPAS lists the Delegate Agencies.

DELIVERABLE    A report or product that must be delivered to an agency to satisfy contractual agreements.

DELIVERY ORDER    An order for supplies placed against an established contract.

DEVIATION   The issuance or use of a policy, procedure, solicitation provision, contract clause, method, or practice of conducting acquisition actions of any kind at any stage of the acquisition process that is inconsistent with the FAR.

DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS   An independent small business which is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals.


Pentagon Spokesman Department of Defense (DoD)

Guidance for Doing Business with Military Bases