Vendor Portal FAQ
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The USPTO Vendor Portal is a secure web-based service to provide more efficient information flow between the USPTO and our vendor community. The Vendor Portal provides vendors with the ability to manage invoice and deliverable submission electronically as well as obtain status of payments and other pertinent information on your awards. Vendor Portal access provides the capability to electronically submit invoices, contract deliverable(s), and view up to date contract information.
Office of Management Budget (OMB) mandate (1) directs agencies by the end of FY2018 to transition to electronic invoicing for appropriate federal (2) procurements.
(1) Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M-11-32 dated September 14, 2011, Accelerating Payments to Small Businesses for Goods and Services and Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 32.009. 4 For example, the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have well-established electronic invoicing solutions.
(2) Appropriate procurements include commercial products and services may exclude such activities as utilities, charge card payments, vendors using Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for identification, relocation services, and other areas where Federal electronic invoicing processes do not match common industry practices.
To access Vendor Portal, you should first review the USPTO Vendor Information page. This page has a link entitled ‘How to Register’ for Vendor Portal. This site will detail how to approach the registration process based on your status as a vendor at USPTO (new or existing). Whether you are the first user to request a Vendor Portal for your organization, or are being set up by the Vendor Administrator for your organization – you will find the appropriate information on this page.
Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to your login process, by requiring users to enter two pieces of evidence–or factors–to prove users are who they say they are. One factor is something the user knows, such as their username and password combination. The additional factor is a security code that may only be retrieved by the requesting user.
Two-factor authentication steps when logging into your Vendor Portal account.
For additional details about the two-factor authentication, please refer to the "Vendor Portal two-factor authentication" section in the Vendor Portal user guide.
Effective April 2022, the federal government will stop using the DUNS number to uniquely identify entities. At that point, entities doing business with the federal government will use a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) created in SAM.gov. They will no longer have to go to a third-party website to obtain their identifier. This transition allows the government to streamline the entity identification and validation process, making it easier and less burdensome for entities to do business with the federal government.
Please take time to visit GSA.gov to familiarize yourself with the steps and what actions to take to prepare. All registered vendors with SAM.gov that have a DUNS number have already been provided a UEI. Please review the Quick Start Guide for Getting a Unique Entity ID (UEI) to understand how to request a UEI number if one has not been provided.
Each organization/vendor will require a Vendor Administrator account, which is the master admin account for your organization. This is the only role that the USPTO will assist in creating when an organization is new to the agency. All subsequent roles will be assigned by this Vendor Administrator account. This user can invite, manage and delete users within the vendor organization. These roles are as follows:
Vendors will log in as their designated role and submit their eDeliverable/invoices/contractor actuals in Vendor Portal. For contractor actuals submissions, you should receive real time feedback from the Vendor Portal upon submission whether your submission passed or failed validation. From here, the information will be received in our systems and the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) will receive notification. The COR will approve the item that was submitted using our systems and this information will be processed. The eDeliverable/invoices/contractor actuals will be updated in our systems and the Vendor will receive notice in the Vendor Portal via email. While there are caveats to the varying processes related to the Vendor Portal, you can expect this to be the standard process flow for most information.
Contractor actuals are comprised of a number of different items. Templates are available for vendors that notate every FTE and how the resource is billed. Two deliverables are required for contractor actuals, an A file and a B file, both of which are submitted each month to create a receiver. The vendor will also submit an invoice that matches the A and B file submissions. The Contracting Officer Representative (COR) will validate and the Office of Finance will then be able to process the payments.
Other contract actual deliverables include acquisition plans, project deliverables, schedules, and other support documentation.
PPA stands for ‘Program, Project, and Activity. They are a government wide cost accounting practice. Vendors working with the USPTO should be given a PPA code by their Contracting Officer (CO) or Contracting Officer Representative (COR). This PPA code is required in our systems as well as on the invoices.
No zero or negative amounts are allowed to be invoiced in Vendor Portal at this time.
The opportunities tab within Vendor Portal has not yet been operationalized, however once this functionality becomes available, this is where you will find opportunities within the USPTO. Vendors can follow their individual opportunity link or public opportunity and respond directly to the request when logged in to Vendor Portal.
For general questions or technical assistance with the Vendor Portal, send an email to VendorPortalHelp@uspto.gov or call toll free at 1-800-632-7861.
For general questions related to invoice, eDeliverables and award information, please contact the USPTO Contracting Office personnel or the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) named on the award.