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How We Buy

Now that you know what we purchase you also need to know how we purchase. Before you read about the marketing of goods and services to the Library of Congress, you should understand the manner in which we solicit and award our contracts.

We are Different

The Library of Congress is a Federal Government agency that is a part of the Legislative Branch. Because of this status, we are not subject to many of the laws that ordinarily apply to Executive Branch Agencies. While we follow the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in spirit and content, we have the authority to deviate from the FAR when it is in the best interest of the Library to do so.

In addition, unlike Executive Branch Agencies, the Library is not subject to the Small Business Act. However, the Library does not ignore its corporate responsibilities to the small business community. In fact, one of the main objectives of our supplier diversity program is to continually seek out and foster contract opportunities for small, minority, and woman-owned businesses.

Competition

A foundation of our purchasing policy is competition. We compete the majority of our contracts. We do follow the FAR standard of "full and open competition." We ensure that the Library receives both the best value and a fair and reasonable price. We evaluate all potential suppliers based on the quality, service, delivery schedule and price offered, but we provide contracting opportunities to all American businesses and entrepreneurs. We are always looking to expand the diversity of our supplier base.

Solicitation Types

The Library utilizes the standard solicitation types which are explained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. We request oral quotes on all credit card orders that are not in excess of $2,500. We use the Request for Quotations # (RFQ) in all simplified acquisitions that do not exceed $100,000. On rare occasions the Library issues an Invitation For Bid# (IFB). Since most of our procurements are awarded on a competitive basis, we use the Request for Proposals # (RFP) in contract actions that are in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold.

The FEDLINK Program

FEDLINK is the Library of Congress' government-wide multi-agency cooperative contracting program which is sponsored by the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC). The FEDLINK Contracts staff awards approximately 5,000 contractual actions for over 900 Federal Agencies valued at $113 million annually.

Information about the FEDLINK Program procurement opportunities are listed under "Contracting and Vendor Services" on the FEDLINK Web site.

Environmental Protection Policy and Principles

The Library of Congress is committed to providing our customers and employees with a safe and healthy environment. Protecting our environment is not only the right thing to do -- it is sound business practice. We encourage our suppliers to comply with our environmental operating principles:

  • To meet or exceed all applicable rules and regulations.
  • To incorporate environmental considerations into our business planning processes.
  • To foster the sustainable use of natural resources by promoting pollution prevention, reducing waste, recycling, and reusing materials.

Standard and Simplified Procedures

Our buyers use two basic purchasing procedures — standard and simplified. Standard procedures apply to highly complex supplies and services and to high dollar value contracts. Simplified procedures are for purchases of "standard commercial items" or services that do not exceed $100,000.

Payment (Invoices)

All invoices submitted for payment must be itemized and rendered in duplicate to:

Library of Congress
OCFO/AD/AOS (9112) Office
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-9112

A Library of Congress purchase order number and the name of the (COTR) contracting officer's technical representative must appear on all invoices.

While the Library of Congress is not subject to the Prompt Payment Act, it is our policy to process invoices for payment 30 days from delivery and acceptance of goods/services or the receipt of a proper invoice, whichever is later, unless alternate payment terms are specified in the contract/purchase order.