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Government Contracting Requires Registering for ORCA

Filed under Government Contracting. Fact checked on May 24, 2012.

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In order to be eligible for government contracts, your business should register with ORCA--the Online Representations and Certifications Application--a web-based system within the federal government. Be prepared to provide highly detailed information about your business.

Effective January 1, 2005, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires the use of the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) in federal solicitations as a part of the proposal submission process. ORCA is an e-government initiative to replace the paper-based Representations & Certifications (Reps & Certs) process. ORCA is a web-based system that centralizes and standardizes the collection, storage and viewing of many of the FAR-required representations and certifications previously found in solicitations. Registration in ORCA is required if the solicitation being responded to requires an active registration in CCR.

You now have the ability to enter and maintain your representation and certification information, at your convenience, via the Internet at the ORCA website. You will no longer have to submit representations and certifications completed in ORCA with each offer. Instead, a solicitation will contain a single provision allowing you to either certify that all of your representations and certifications in ORCA are current, complete and accurate as of the date of your signature, or list any changes. If registrants need help, they can contact the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) closest to them.

In addition, rather than receiving and reviewing paper submissions, government contracting officials can access ORCA and review your information online as a part of the proposal evaluation process.

ORCA records are considered public information. Anyone with access to the Internet, and knows a registrant's DUNS number, can search the archives to view an ORCA record. More information can be found in the ORCA Handbook at https://orca.bpn.gov/miscl/ORCA%20Handbook.pdf.

  1. Go to www.bpn.gov to obtain the ORCA Handbook
  2. Click on "Vendor" listed under Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA)
  3. Click on "help" at the top of the page
  4. Click on "ORCA Handbook"

Note: Go to Appendix D in the ORCA Handbook to view ORCA letters.

Work Smart

Firms interested in architect-engineer (A-E) contracts with the federal government also can enter their general qualifications required by Standard Form 330, Part II, into the ORCA database. Question #26 on the ORCA questionnaire collects all SF330 information. However, the registrant must answer all the other fields on the questionnaire, not just #26. In addition, the registrant must answer all the Reps and Certs information in order to provide any SF330 Part II information.

Note: For an A-E firm, submission of the SF330 Part II through ORCA is voluntary.

Instructions To Follow for ORCA Registration

To register in ORCA, the vendor must have the following:

  1. a DUNS Number;
  2. a completed registration in CCR; and
  3. a Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) established in an active CCR registration.

The Marketing Personal Identification Number (MPIN) is a 9-digit code containing at least one alpha character and one number (no special characters or spaces). The MPIN is created by the registrant in their company's CCR registration and acts as a password for various other government systems. The MPIN is the last data field in the "Points of Contact" section of the registration and is mandatory.

Once the registrant has registered in CCR and entered their new MPIN, it will take 24 to 48 hours to become active. After that, they can begin their registration in ORCA. For more information on CCR registration and setting up an MPIN, the customer can go to www.ccr.gov.

Registrants can update or change their Reps and Certs information whenever necessary. Every registrant must update their ORCA and CCR registration at lease once a year to remain active. The clock will start over from the day of each update.

  1. Go the Business Partner Network (BPN) home page at www.bpn.gov.
  2. Click on " - Vendor" under "Online Representations and Certifications Applications (ORCA)" on the left margin of the home page.
  3. Type your DUNS and MPIN into the appropriate fields.
  4. Click on "Login to ORCA."
  5. The first page is pre-populated with company information pulled from your CCR registration. You need to review the information.
    • If the information is correct, click on "Update your partially saved information" to complete a new ORCA registration.
    • If you have a completed registration, and want to update it, click on "Update your completed information."
    • If the information is not correct, you need to update your CCR registration at www.ccr.gov. Once you have updated your CCR registration, it will take 24 to 48 hours to become active. After that, you can resume your ORCA registration.
  6. Fill in ORCA Primary Contact Information.
  7. Click on "Continue."
  8. Fill in the ORCA Questionnaire. Note: Registrants must answer all questions by filling in the appropriate fields, and then click "Add" or click the appropriate radio button.
  9. Click on "Continue." Note: If you get the message "Review your questionnaire you are missing information," you must fill in missing information before you can continue.
  10. Review and certify the Reps and Certs.
  11. Click "Submit Certification" to activate the ORCA record. You will receive email confirmation when registration is active.

Because ORCA information is public, the database is available for anyone to search. Here are some instructions for doing some good old-fashioned market research:

  1. Go to www.bpn.gov.
  2. Click on "Public" listed under Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA).
  3. Type the DUNS Number of the company you researching into the appropriate field.
  4. Click "Search."

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