Glossary of Defense Contracting Terms (R)

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


RATED ORDER    A prime contract for any product, service, or material (including controlled materials) placed by a Delegate Agency under the provisions of the DPAS in support of an authorized program and which require preferential treatment, and includes subcontracts and purchase orders resulting under such contracts.

REASONABLE BIDDER or OFFEROR    A person or vendor who has the capability to perform fully the contract requirements and the moral and business integrity and reliability which will assure good faith performance and who has been prequalified.

REASONABLE PRICE    A price that does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person in the conduct of a competitive business. Reasonable price can be established by market test, price or cost analysis, or the experience and judgment of the purchaser.

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI)    An RFP is a solicitation used in negotiated acquisition to communicate government requirements to prospective contractor and to solicit proposals.  At a minimum, solicitations shall describe the Government’s requirement, anticipated terms and conditions that will apply to the contract, information required in the offeror’s proposal, and (for competitive acquisitions) the criteria that will be used to evaluate the proposal and their relative importance.  FAR Subpart 15.2 “Solicitation and Receipt of Proposals and Information” is the main guidance for government solicitations and RFP’s.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP)     An RFI is primarily used to gather information to help make a decision on what steps to take next. RFIs are therefore seldom the final stage and are instead often used in combination with the following: Request for Proposal (RFP), request for tender (RFT), and Request for Quotation (RFQ). In addition to gathering basic information, an RFI is often used as a solicitation sent to a broad base of potential suppliers for the purpose of conditioning supplier’s minds, developing strategy, building a database, and preparing for an RFP, RFT, or RFQ.

REQUEST FOR QUOTATION (RFQ)    A document submitted to one or more potential suppliers eliciting quotations for a product or service.

REQUISITION     An internal document that a functional department (stores, maintenance) sends to the purchasing department containing details of materials to meet its needs, replenish stocks or obtain materials for specific jobs or contracts.

RETAINAGE     A percentage of a progress payment withheld based on unsatisfactory contract progress under a construction contract. The percentage withheld must not exceed 10 percent of the approved estimated amount of progress under the terms of the contract and may be adjusted as the contract approaches completion to recognize better than expected performance, the ability to rely on alternative safeguards, and other factors. Upon contract completion of all contract requirements, retained amounts must be paid promptly.    


Pentagon Spokesman Department of Defense (DoD)

Guidance for Doing Business with Military Bases