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Completing the Preliminaries

By Michael E. Robinson, Defense Logistics Manager, MassMEP, michaelr@massmep.org

After completing the CCR (Central Contractor Registration) and analyzing any preference programs that might apply to your firm, the next step is to complete the On-line Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). The application should take approximately one half hour to complete.

The process begins with the establishment of a Marketing Partner Identification Number (MPIN) at the end of the CCR registration process. Marketing Partner ID (MPIN) is a personal code that allows you to access other Government applications such as the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS), FedBizOpps, FedTeDS, Orca, and grants.gov. The MPIN acts as your password in these other systems and you should guard it as such. The MPIN must have 9 digits containing at least one alpha character (can be entered in upper or lower case) and one number (no spaces or special characters permitted).

If you currently have an active registration in CCR all you need to do in order to create an MPIN is to:

  1. Access your registration by clicking on "Update or Renew Registration using TPIN" on the left menu - remember to have your TPIN ready.
  2. Enter your DUNS number and TPIN.
  3. Once you are in your registration, click on the tab named "Points of Contact."
  4. Scroll down to Government Business POC and fill out all the fields.
  5. Scroll down to Alternate Government Business POC and fill in all the fields.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the Points of Contact page and enter an MPIN.
  7. Be sure to click the Validate/Save Data button when you have entered all of your information.
  8. Your registration will take approximately 24 hours to update.

If you are not registered in CCR and need an MPIN, please view the CCR Handbook for instructions on what is needed for registration and details on how to register. Also, read Back to the Basics, Part 1 and Back to the Basics, Part 2 in earlier editions of our newsletter.

Now that we have established the MPIN, we can proceed to ORCA itself. Unlike the connotations of the name, ORCA, the system is not a killer whale, or dangerous at all. The Online Representations and Certifications Application is an e-Government initiative that has been developed to replace most of the paper-based Representations and Certifications (Reps and Certs) process, known as Section K, by creating an Internet application that allows user access 24/7. Prior to ORCA, vendors were required to submit Reps and Certs for each individual large purchase contract award. Now, using ORCA, a contractor can enter their Reps and Certs information once for use on all Federal contracts. This site not only benefits the contractor by allowing them to maintain an accurate and complete record but also the Contracting Officer as they can view every record, including archives, with the click of a mouse. You must be registered in ORCA if the solicitation you are responding to requires that you have an active registration in CCR.

ORCA is an online system that is located on the Internet. The ORCA site can be found by going to http://www.bpn.gov and clicking on “Online Reps and Certs Application” on the left side of the screen. If you do not have access to the Internet or feel you need extra Internet help please contact the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) (www.dla.mil/db/procurem.htm) closest to you.

Two items are needed prior to registration: (1) An active record in CCR and (2) An MPIN from that active CCR record. Visit www.ccr.gov to complete these tasks if you haven’t already. More information about the questions asked in ORCA can be found in the ORCA Handbook.

When you are completing the questionnaire, based on personal experience, I suggest you read carefully, as it is possible to miss questions that require an answer. On the positive side, the system will coach you if you have missed any inputs. The ORCA record needs to be updated and remains valid for one year. You can update or change your Reps and Certs information whenever necessary; the 365 days clock will start over from the day of change.

Finally, remember that ORCA records are considered public information. Anyone with access to the Internet that knows your DUNS number can search the archives to view an ORCA record.

If you have questions about these programs, and how they might affect your firm, please feel free to contact me at michaelr@massmep.org or call (413) 628-4538.

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