Definitions - A

AASHTO - American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials

ABAAS - Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards

Also referred to as acceptance of work or final acceptance. The act of an authorized representative of the Government by which the Government, for itself or as agent of another, assumes ownership of existing identified supplies tendered or approves specific services rendered as partial or complete performance of the contract. (FAR 46.101) Acceptance is a very important event because it reduces the Government's rights with respect to defective items, (latent vs patent defects) entitles the contractor to final payment, and may affect title and risk of loss.

Accessibility occurs when individuals with disabilities are able to reach, use, understand, or appreciate NPS programs, buildings, facilities, sites and services, or to enjoy the same benefits that are available to persons without disabilities.

The 1968 Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) requires sites, facilities, buildings and elements designed, built or altered by or on behalf of the United States be accessible to persons with disabilities and meet the standards set by the General Services Administration (GSA). The design standards set by GSA are the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards (ABAAS) and the ABAAS for Outdoor Developed Areas which includes scoping and technical requirements for campgrounds, picnic areas, viewing areas, beach access routes, and trails.

The 1973 Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies. e.g. If a facility offers an interpretive program, then it must be designed to include persons with disabilities. Disabilities can include, but are not limited to, impaired vision, hearing, mobility or mental functioning.

There are additional accessibility requirements for projects being managed by DSC. Design development and construction administration processes contain enhanced accessibility requirements for design consultants and Contractors. DSC’s design and construction criteria is derived from and congruent with NPS Management Policies and Director’s Orders, GSA Guidelines, U.S. Access Board Guidelines, Harpers Ferry Center standards, and from lessons learned through design and construction experience. They exceed federal standards and building codes for greater control, thus assurance, that deliverables and finished construction can meet minimum accessibility criteria. DSC’s requirements cover the spectrum of project development work from conceptual design to inspections during construction. Verification of sufficiency or conformance occurs during milestone design reviews and accelerated inspections and reporting of construction tasks that affects accessibility of a project.

ACHP - Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

The acquiring by contract with appropriated funds of supplies or services (including construction) by and for the use of the Federal Government through purchase or lease, whether the supplies or services are already in existence or must be created, developed, demonstrated, and evaluated. Acquisition begins at the point when agency needs are established and includes the description of requirements to satisfy agency needs, solicitation and selection of sources, award of contracts, contract financing, contract performance, contract administration, and those technical and management functions directly related to the process of fulfilling agency needs by contract. (FAR 2.101)

Acquisition Plan
A document used to facilitate acquisition planning.

  • It must address all the technical, business, management, and other considerations that will control the acquisition.
  • It must identify those milestones at which decisions should be made.
  • Specific content will vary, depending on the nature, circumstances, and stage of the acquisition.
  • Plans for service contracts must describe the strategies for implementing performance-based contracting methods or provide rationale for not using such methods. (FAR 7.105)

ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act

Adaptive Use
A use for a structure other than its historic use, normally entailing some modification of the structure.

Addenda or Addendum
See Amendment.

An item or series of bid items that may be added during the award phase if available funds will permit. This may take the form of new work or alternative materials to what is covered in the base bid.

Administrative Change
A unilateral contract modification, in writing, that does not affect the substantive rights of the parties (e.g., a change in the paying office or the appropriation data). (FAR 43.101)

Administrative Data (Historic Structure Report)
"This section contains

  1. names, numbers, and locational data [List of Classified Structures LCS] used to refer to the structure,
  2. the proposed treatment of the structure referencing the park planning document or other source when it is identified,
  3. related studies,
  4. cultural resource data including date listed in the National Register, period of significance, and context of significance, and
  5. recommendations for documentation, cataloging, and storage of materials generated by the HSR.

Direct citations may be taken verbatim from existing park planning documents in order to provide emphasis, especially when contrary recommendations are under consideration.

Administrative History
A study that describes how a park was conceived and established and how it has developed and been managed to the present day.

Administrative Record
When decisions of the National Park Service (NPS) are challenged in court, the court examines the "paper trail" documenting the NPS decision-making process, to determine if the decision was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law (Administrative Procedure Act [5 U.S.C.706 (2) (A)]). The administrative record is the paper trail that documents the NPS decision-making process and the basis for the NPS decision. A thorough and complete administrative record is important because it allows the NPS to demonstrate to the court that the NPS fully considered all relevant factors during the decision-making process. An incomplete administrative record, however, can hamper the NPS's ability to defend its decision by making it appear that the decision was not based on a well-reasoned consideration of all the important information.

ADT - Average Daily Traffic

Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS)
Address the transportation needs of non-drivers by leveraging services provided by Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) and Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) to streamline the operations of fixed-routed transit, demand response transit and other High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) modes (e.g. carpool and vanpool). Information can be found at the following website:

Advanced Rural Transportation Systems (ARTS)
Supports ITS technologies that can be used in rural areas, primarily to increase safety on rural roadways. Information can be found at the following website:

Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS)
Involve the use of surveillance technologies (e.g. machine vision devices, sensors, and closed circuit televisions) and advanced communications (dynamic message signs, highway advisory radio, and personal communication devices) to maximize throughput and safety. Information can be found at the following website:

Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS)
Advanced traveler information system is one of several ITS technologies that offers users integrated traveler information before and during travel, thereby providing a wider range of choices about how, when and where to travel based on individual interests and needs.

Adverse Effect
An action that alters the characteristics that qualify a property for inclusion in the National Register in a manner that would diminish the integrity of the property. Adverse effects can be direct or indirect. They include reasonably foreseeable impacts that may occur later in time, be farther removed in distance, or be cumulative.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
An independent federal agency with statutory authority to review and comment on federal actions affecting properties listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, to advise the President and the Congress on historic preservation matters, and to recommend measures to coordinate activities of federal, state, and local agencies. Its members include Cabinet-level representatives from federal agencies and presidential appointees from outside the federal government.

A&E, AE, or A/E - Architect-Engineer

Aerial Tramway
An electric system of aerial cables with suspended powerless passenger vehicles. The vehicles are propelled by separate cables attached to the vehicle suspension system and powered by engines or motors at a central location not on board the vehicle. Information can be found at the following website:

Aerial Tramway Car
An unpowered passenger cabin suspended from a system of aerial cables and propelled by separate cables attached to the vehicle suspension system. Engines or motors at a central location, not on board the vehicle, power the cable system. Information can be found at the following website:

AFC - Automatic Fare Collection

Agency - See Agency with Jurisdiction.

Agency Consultation
A discussion, conference, or forum in which advice or information is sought or given, or information or ideas are exchanged. Consultation generally takes place on an informal basis; formal consultation requirements for compliance with section 106 of NHPA are published in 36 CFR Part 800.

Agency with Jurisdiction (Agency)
An Agency that has been granted legal authority over a location, action, or resource. This authority includes the ability to issue a permit or other legal permission document.

AHJ - Authority Having Jurisdiction

The process for releasing funding to sponsors of a previously approved transportation project.

Alteration (For Change of Function, Without Expansion)
Work to change the function of and existing facility or any of its components. The capacity or size of the facility is not expanded. Deferred maintenance of the original facility may be reduced or eliminated by an alteration.

Alternate COR
See Contracting Officer Representative (COR). Individual designated as alternate COR can fill in for the primary COR when required.

Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands (ATPPL)
A new cooperative Federal Land Management Agency transit program established under Section 3021 of the 2005 Transportation Bill, Safe Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act-A Legacy for users (SAFETEA-LU). The ATPPL program is managed by the Departments of the Interior and Transportation. With the authorization under the section of transit programs, the Department of Transportation lead agency is the Federal Transit Administration rather than the Federal Highway Administration (the lead agency for the Federal Lands Highways Program).

Eligible agencies include the National Park Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. Project considerations include geographical diversity, variety of project sizes, safety, pollution and congestion reduction, and improvement of mobility. Project selection will first occur at the bureau level and then by a multi-agency team.

Alternatives for Treatment (Historic Structure Report)
A narrative that presents and evaluates alternative approaches to realization of the ultimate treatment. Alternatives are presented in both narrative and graphic form. Analysis addresses the adequacy of each solution in terms of impact on historic materials, effect on historic character, compliance with NPS policy, and other management objectives. The narrative concludes with elaboration on the recommended course of action and specific recommendations for preservation treatments.

A change in a solicitation prior to contract award. (FAR 14.208 and FAR 15.206)

American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
An association of state departments of transportation, the AASHTO advocates multimodal transportation by providing technical services, information and policy advice to member departments, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Congress. The AASHTO is influential in national transportation policy decision-making. Information can be found at the following website:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336 Text of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 336 of the 101st Congress, enacted July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services.

AMP - Asset Management Program

The scientific study of the human condition including cultural, biological and physical adaptations over time and in various natural and social environments. Anthropology includes the specializations of archeology, cultural anthropology (including ethnography, ethnology, and applied anthropology), linguistics, and physical anthropology. An anthropologist is a scientist with advance training in any of these subdisciplines.

Anti-Deficiency Act
Requires that no officer or employee of the government may create or authorize an obligation in excess of the funds available, or in advance of appropriations unless otherwise authorized by law. (FAR 32.702)

AO&A - Archeological Overview and Assessment

AOEF - Assessment of Effect Form

APE - Area of Potential Effects

Appointment Letter
Document used by the contacting officer to assign contractual responsibility to another government official. The letter or memorandum specifies the official's authority and is signed by the Contracting Officer.

An act by the state legislature or Congress to provide budgeted funds to programs that have been previously authorized by other legislation. Appropriated funding may be less than the authorized amount.

Appropriate Design Solutions for Park Use and Maintenance Capabilities
Design solutions that are:

  • appropriate for the proposed use of the park
  • appropriate for the location of the project (Contextual Design)
  • easily and economically operated and maintained by the park staff.

APTS - Advanced Public Transportation Systems

Archeological Overview and Assessment (AO&A)
A study that researches the development of the site and identifies the locations and the characteristics of all archeological resources or a sample of them in a particular area.

Archeological Resource
Any material remains or physical evidence of past human life or activities which are of archeological interest, including the record of the effects of human activities on the environment. An archeological resource is capable of revealing scientific or humanistic information through archeological research.

Archeological Survey
Site survey of the material remains such as fossils, relics, artifacts, and monuments of past human life and activities.

The scientific study, interpretation, and reconstruction of past human cultures from an anthropological perspective based on the investigation of the surviving physical evidence of human activity and the reconstruction of related past environments. Historic archeology uses historic documents as additional sources of information. An archeologist is a scientist professionally trained to conduct such studies.

Architect-Engineer (A&E, AE, or A/E)
Architectural/engineering firms that provide services such as planning, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, transportation planning, compliance, construction inspection and supervision, surveying, estimating, and other technical services related to planning, design and construction.

Architect-Engineer Evaluation Board
A panel composed of members who, collectively, have experience in architecture, engineering, construction, and Government and related acquisition matters. Members shall be appointed from among highly qualified professional employees of the agency or other agencies, and if authorized by agency procedures, private practitioners of architecture, engineering, or related professions. One Government member of each board shall be designated as the chairperson. Under the general direction of the head of the contracting activity, an evaluation board must perform the following functions:

  • Review the current data files on eligible firms and responses to a public notice concerning the particular project;
  • Evaluate the firms in accordance with the selection criteria;
  • Hold discussions with at least three of the most highly qualified firms regarding concepts and the relative utility of alternative methods of furnishing the required services;
  • and Prepare a selection report for the agency head or other designated selection authority recommending, in order of preference, at least three firms that are considered to be the most highly qualified to perform the required services. The report must include a description of the discussions and evaluation conducted by the board to allow the selection authority to review the considerations upon which the recommendations are based. (FAR 36.602-2(a) and 36.602-3)

Architect-Engineer Services

  • Professional services of an architectural or engineering nature, as defined by State law, if applicable, which are required to be performed or approved by a person licensed, registered, or certified to provide such services;
  • Professional services of an architectural or engineering nature performed by contract that are associated with research, planning, development, design, construction, alteration, or repair of real property;
  • and Such other professional services of an architectural or engineering nature, or incidental services, which members of the architectural and engineering professions (and individuals in their employ) may logically or justifiably perform, including studies, investigations, surveying and mapping, tests, evaluations, consultations, comprehensive planning, program management, conceptual designs, plans and specifications, value engineering, construction phase services, soils engineering, drawing reviews, preparation of operating and maintenance manuals, and other related services. (FAR 36.102)

Architectural Accessibility
Design, construction, and or alteration of a building or facility that is in compliance with officially sanctioned standards, and that can be entered and used by individuals with a disability.

Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards (ABAAS)
Effective May 8, 2006, Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards (ABAAS) replaced both UFAS (Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards) and ADAAG (ADA Accessibility Guidelines) for all federally funded projects. Use "ABA" Chapter 2 (all paragraphs with "F" prefix) for scoping and Chapters 3 through 10 for technical information.

Architectural Conservation
The science of preserving a historic structure's materials by observing and analyzing their deterioration, determining causes of and solutions to problems, and directing remedial interventions.

Architectural Conservator
A specialist in the scientific analysis of historic materials.

Architectural History
The study of architecture through written records and the examination of structures in order to determine their relationship to preceding, contemporary, and subsequent architecture and events. An architectural historian is a historian with advanced training in this specialty.

Architectural Program
An Architectural Program is a narrative list of facility functions, descriptions and functional adjacencies and concept sketches (bubble diagrams) showing the relationships of building functions for a project based on the GMP (General Management Plan) PMIS (Project Management Information System) Statement, Facility Planning Model, Interpretive Plan, HSRs (Historic Structure Reports), and CLRs (Cultural Landscape Reports) and in-depth interviews with key park staff and stakeholders. Included are specific ideas of what functions should be included (or excluded), how they should be used, and how other functions should relate.

The non-current records of an organization preserved for their historic value. Official records of the NPS are managed according to the Records Management Guideline (NPS-19) and National Archives and Records Administration standards. The term "archives" is often used to refer to the repository where archives and other historic documents are maintained. See also Historic Document.

Area of Potential Effects (APE)
A term used and defined in National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 regulations as the geographic area or areas within which an undertaking may cause changes in the character or use of cultural resources, if any resources exist there. This area always includes the actual site of an undertaking, but may also include other areas where the undertaking will cause changes in land use, traffic patterns, or other aspects that could affect cultural resources, including visual, atmospheric, or audible changes.

Areawide Contract
A contract entered into between the General Services Administration and a utility service supplier to cover utility service needs of Federal agencies within the franchise territory of the supplier. Each areawide contract includes an authorization form for requesting service, connection, disconnection, or change in service. (FAR 41.101)

Articulated Bus
An extra-long, high-capacity segmented bus that has rear portion flexibility but is permanently-connected to the forward portion. No interior barriers hamper movement between the two sections. Seated passenger capacity is 60 to 80 persons with space for many standees. Length is from 60 to 70 feet. The turning radius for an articulated bus is usually less than that of a standard urban bus.

ARTS - Advanced Rural Transportation Systems

As-Built Drawings
See Project Record Drawings.

As-Constructed Drawings
AutoCAD construction drawing files incorporating all changes shown on the project record drawings and typically generated by the Designer of Record.

Assessment of Effect for Recommended Treatments
A process for assessing recommended treatments and their effect on character-defining features using the Advisory Council's criteria of effect: "Does the undertaking have the potential to alter characteristics of historic properties such as location, design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling, and association? Will it cause visual, audible, or atmospheric intrusions not in keeping with a property or its setting, or change the use of the property?"

Assessment of Effect Form (AOEF)
"Assessment of Actions Having an Effect on Cultural Resources" form, also known as a XXX form, is used to describe and document proposed actions that may affect cultural resources.

Asset Management Program (AMP)
Outlines the overall facility management framework, strategic vision, and business practices for park managers' choices about what assets to invest resources in and why the investments should be made.

ATC - Automatic Toll Collection

ATIS - Advanced Traveler Information System

ATMS - Advanced Traffic Management Systems

ATPPL - Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands

Attainment Area
A geographic area in which levels of a criteria air pollutant meet the health-based primary standard for that pollutant. See NAAQS.

An agent, independent agent, underwriter, or any other company or individual holding a power of attorney granted by a surety. See also Power of Attorney. (FAR 28.001)

Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
A person who is responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure, related to structural fire management. This person is typically the National Park Service (NPS) Regional Structural Fire Manager (RSFM).

An act by Congress creating a policy and structure for a program, including formulae and guidelines for awarding funds. Authorizing legislation (such as TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU) may set an upper limit on program spending or may be open-ended. Revenues spent under an authorization must be appropriated by annual legislation.

Automated Gate Access
The use of electronic devices (e.g. transponder and receiver) to automate the process of allowing access to certain areas. Information can be found at the following website:

Automated Guideway Car
A guided passenger car operating under a fully automated system without and onboard crew. One type is a downtown people mover, which operates on a loop or shuttle route within the central business district of a city. Information can be found at the following website:

Automated Vehicle Classification (AVC)
Closely related to Automated Vehicle Identification (AVI). AVC and AVI are used in many instances at toll facilities which charge different rates for different types of vehicles, making it necessary to distinguish the vehicles passing through the toll facility. Information can be found at the following website:

Automatic Fare Collection (AFC)
The controls and equipment that automatically admit passengers on insertion of the correct fare in an acceptable form, which my be coins, tokens, tickets, or fare cards (stored value fare cards must be inserted again on exit, at which point an additional fare may be required.

Automatic Toll Collection (ATC)
The use of electronic devices (e.g. transponder and receiver) to automate the collection of tolls on roadways and at entrance gates. Information can be found at the following website:

Available Research
Associated research already completed on the subject structure should be identified in the park, regional office, or other repository prior to scoping an HRS. "As a rule, research about a historic structure should complement existing information and strive to produce a comprehensive understanding of the structure in order to adequately establish and address management objectives. The research effort should be proportional to the significance of the structure and the range of effects associated with the objectives. Although individual structure features, areas or systems may be emphasized, research should approach the structure as a whole."

AVC - Automated Vehicle Classification

Average Daily Traffic (ADT)
A means of expressing the volume of traffic on a roadway during a 24-hour period.

Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO)
A means of expressing the average number of people traveling in each vehicle on a given road or location.

AVO - Average Vehicle Occupancy

AWJ - Agencies With Jurisdiction


Last updated: November 15, 2016

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