Supplier/Contract FAQs
Q. How do we choose a vendor that may offer a discount based on quantity that is not loaded in the selectable catalogs?
A. As a Requestor, if you know that a particular vendor offers a discount, which is not loaded in the selectable catalogs, you should state it in the Comments section of the requisition so that you inform your ACCO. You also have the option of creating a non-catalog order where you specify the supplier and the unit price with the discount applied.
Q. If a vendor is not in the catalog, how can they be used?  What is the process for adding a vendor to the system?
A. If a vendor is not in PASS, the Requestor should create a non-catalog requisition and notify the ACCO to add the new vendor into PASS within the comments section of the requisition. The ACCO, or someone on their staff will complete a supplier eForm to add the specific supplier in the system.
Q. What happens if a cataloged item is available for one price and is a different price when the ACCO receives the requisition?
A. The ACCO will change the price on the requisition accordingly (after confirmation with the supplier). Furthermore, if the price is changed by the ACCO – the requisition approval flow will be regenerated to alert those along the approval path in case they want to withdraw the requisition.
Q. How will vendors receive PO’s?  What is they cannot except electronic PO’s?
A. Vendors will receive POs via the Ariba Supplier Network (ASN) as a fax or an email. If the vendor is not capable of receiving POs by fax or email, the ACCO will print out the PO and send it via US Mail.
Q. Is there a commodity code conversion from 5 digits to 7 digits? OLDB is using a 5 digits on their web site.
A. There is no direct conversion from a 5-digit commodity code to a 7-digit commodity code.  However, the first 5 digits remain the same; the remaining 2 digits after the 5 digits add more granularity to the existing 5 digits. The 7-digit codes are listed on the OCP website –
Q. Does the system show unit price for “goods” as well as “services”?
A. Yes. The system shows unit price for both goods and services.
Q. How are vendors listed in the system?
A. Vendors are selectively added in PASS through SOAR. SOAR is the source of truth for vendor information. Any vendor that does not exist in PASS can be added via the Supplier eForm by your ACCO.
Q. Do the vendors in the system give some indication that DC has done business with them before and those that have not?
A. If the vendor is in PASS, the Requestor only knows that the District has paid him at least once in the last two years, which was the original conversion criterion for vendors in PASS. Since the pilot of PASS, additional supplier have been added based on agency needs.   A benefit of PASS is the Requestor previously did not have visibility of the purchasing history between the vendor and the District agency, but will have this visibility going forward by using one of the 30+ standard PASS reports (many of which are supplier and order related).
Q. What happened to the 710 form?
A. The 710 form that was used to add supplier has been changed in the PASS Supplier eForm.  As a component of the process the Federal W-9 form needs to be faxed OR scanned and sent to the District by the supplier as an attachment to the Supplier e-form.
Q. What is being done to ensure LSDBE’s are entered properly?
A. There is a separate clean-up effort to ensure that SOAR data is clean, including LSDBE information.
Q. How do new LSDBE’s get put into the system?
A. LSDBE status is indicated when the supplier is entered via the Supplier eForm.
Q. How is vendor information managed because some vendors have numerous addresses?
A. Each Vendor has a list of addresses that is managed through the PASS system via Mail codes.
Q. What does the agency do to get a vendor added?
A. An agency can do any of the following:
  • Contact the OCP Buyer via phone or fax
  • Add the supplier request as a comment on the PASS non-catalog requisition
Q. How long does a request for new supplier take before being seen in PASS?
A. A request can be processed as soon as 1 day, but possibly take 3-4 days before it appears in PASS.
Q. Can procurement withdraw a supplier eForm? At what point?
A. Procurement can withdraw the supplier eForm before the SOAR Vendor Administrator approves it. If the Supplier is added incorrectly, their information can be changed (via the Supplier eForm) or the supplier can even be deleted (de-activated).
Q. Does everyone get notified if a supplier eForm sits too long and misses deadlines?
A. No, there is no escalation built into the Supplier eform. But the original Requester of the eForm can always monitor activity (and see where the eForm is ‘stuck’) and raise concern if it is not been acted on for an extended period of time.
Q. Can reports be generated to show LSDBE usage?
A. Yes, PASS has a standard report that shows LSDBE usage.
Q. Are mail codes attached to particular suppliers?
A. Yes, mail codes are attached to particular suppliers. Mail Codes fall into several different categories: Headquarters, Remittance, Purchase Orders, Solicitations, and Court Order/Levy.  For mail codes that do not exist in PASS, certain people who have access to the Supplier eForm can request to add, modify or delete mail codes from SOAR and PASS.
Q. What happens if a vendor will not accept a PO from PASS? (We are used to requesting from a vendor and paying them through Direct Voucher)
A. Purchases should not be made with vendors who will not accept a standard Purchase Order from the District.
Q. Can the system detect that the same order has been placed with the same vendor for similar amounts within a short period of time?
A. This can be  monitored by reports.
Q. How are IDIQ contracts addressed in PASS?
A. PASS includes a phased release of functionality. The current release includes the Buyer and Invoicing Module. The Contracts application of PASS will be released in last Quarter 2003.
An indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract provides for an indefinite quantity, within written stated limits, of specific supplies or services to be furnished during a fixed period, with deliveries to be scheduled by placing orders with the contractor.  The contract requires the District to order, and the contractor to furnish, at least a stated minimum of supplies or services.  Some of the current District of Columbia Supply Schedules (DCSS) are IDIQ contracts.  Many of these suppliers have provided the District with their contract in an electronic format for inclusion as a PASS Catalog.  If the supplier has not provided the IDIQ contract in the catalog electronic format, a non-catalog purchase can be made by entering the IDIQ contract number in the field named “Contract ID”.  The PASS Non-Catalog requisition and Purchase Order will obligate funds for the minimum amount at the time each order is issued. Additional quantities and funding can be added to either the PASS Catalog or Non-Catalog order by processing a change to the initial requisition.  All changes will be processed through the standard approval workflow.
Q. What if we want to increase money on a contract, what is the process of doing that?
A. If you need to change the amount encumbered on the Purchase Order, you need to issue a change order to the original requisition, which will then get routed through the approval flow, including the Contracting Officer (OCP Buyer).  If the OCP Buyer approves the change, the additional money will be encumbered and a new version of the Purchase Order issued to the supplier. This will ensure the visibility of any changes to a Purchase Order.
Q. Will the GSA Advantage be a catalog option?
A. The GSA Advantage is currently not defined for any phases of the Buyer module rollout.  If you have defined the product you want from the GSA Advantage, you can write it in the Description Field in a non-catalog requisition.  For example, “New Office Chair, in GSA Advantage No. XXX”.  Your Contracting Officer will consider filling your request with your suggestion.
Q. Does the Contracting officer have the ability to add an ETA to a non-catalog line item?
A. No.  Unfortunately, the contracting officer cannot do this.  FYI, the receipt will be considered due 1 day after the order is placed.  Due to when the scheduled task runs, and that we currently have a 1 day delay, the user will get an e-mail 2 days later saying that the Receipt is due.  The delay affects all receipts, regardless of whether it is for a catalog or non-catalog item, so increasing that is not a great idea.  The Contracting Officer CAN put a Need By Date for non-catalog line items.
Q. What users have permission to use the Supplier eForm?
A. OCP Contract Specialists, Contract Officers and selected AP personnel (usually involved in the Invoicing process for mail code issues) have permission to use the Supplier eForm.  As a requestor, if you have a supplier that you would like to add to PASS, contact your Contract Specialist. If you are in the middle of a request, and you realize your Supplier is not in PASS, you should type the new Supplier in the Comments section field of a non-catalog requisition. 
Q. What happens when there are two suppliers with the same exact name?
A. Each supplier still has unique Supplier ID numbers. This is their tax id or social security number.
Q. How do I determine the appropriate commodity code easily?
A. The commodity code can be searched using text or numbers. Select the Chooser next to the Commodity Code field and type in either numbers or text to search for a code.
Q. Who will maintain the Supplier enablement part once the System Integration team leaves?
A. D.C. government employees have been working with the SI team since February. These members will continue to update catalogs and work with suppliers after the SI team has departed.
Q. Will the OCTO IT Services Contracts be on PASS?
A. Yes, the OCTO IT Services Contracts will be available on PASS when Phase II rolls out (September 2003). 
Q. How can I see the suppliers that do the same thing?
A. If you search by NIGP commodity code, that will bring up line items for all suppliers that provide that commodity (if the Supplier has mapped the items at the same NIGP code). Sometimes, suppliers can match to different NIGP codes, for example, A Consultant can be Management Consultant or Strategic Consultant.  The safer way to see suppliers who do the same thing is to do an advanced search with combining commodity codes, and key words.
Q. Will the suppliers still be required to fill out W9 forms? 
A. Yes, a supplier who wishes to be on the ASN (Ariba Supplier Network) and do business with the District will need to provide a copy of their W9. The supplier can fax the W9 to the OCP direct fax number.
Q. Who can change the prices on the actual catalog?
A. The members of the District’s Supplier Enablement team currently have the capability of changing prices on the .cif file of the catalogs. They will do this by co-ordinating with the supplier. The OCP Contracting Officer can change the price on the actual requisition.
Q. How often will catalogs be updated?
A. Catalogs will be updated when new prices are in place in accordance with the contract. Suppliers are aware of when their prices will change (based upon how their contract was written (quarterly updates, yearly updates, etc.).
Q. How will we capture bulk discounts from suppliers?
A. Bulk discounts are handled in the Contracts application, which is included in future releases of the PASS application.
Currently there is no systematic way to capture bulk discounts. The OCP Contracting Officer will be able to change quantity and price per requisition based on the discount received but there is no systematic record of the bulk discount.
Q. Why are the catalog suppliers not identified as DCSS?
A. Users should make the assumption that 99% of the catalogs in PASS are DCSS (DC Supply Schedule).  There may be ½ to 1% that are not; these suppliers are for particular agencies (DOC, FEMS).
Q. How do suppliers know who to pay? 
A. The Purchase Order will have ship to address as well as bill to address.