If You’re Active in Federal Contracting, You Need to Meet SAM


Like many federal contractors, our firm has been following the progress of the System for Award Management (SAM) — a new web portal and records management system for federal contracting. While it was in its development stage, we had our eye on SAM and now the site has launched.

SAM’s ambitious and noble goal is to consolidate information input and records management across federal procurement agencies. The new system will be phased in gradually, and the current Phase I migrates the functionality of four major record-keeping systems over to SAM:

• Central Contractor Registry (CCR)
• Federal Agency Registration (Fedreg)
• Online Representations and Certifications Application
• Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)

These systems have essentially been merged and phased out: the old ccr. gov website, for example, is nowhere to be found. Eventually, all current and aspiring federal contractors will need a SAM account.

Some of the good news is that active CCR records have been automatically migrated to SAM. According to the FAQs at sam.gov: “You do not need to do anything in SAM at this time, unless a change in your business circumstances requires a change in SAM in order for you to be paid or to receive an award.”

When a company’s migrated registration is getting set to expire, automated emails (presumably to the email the company registered with in CCR) will give notice to renew.
In a change of approach from previous systems, only a human being, not a corporation, can have a SAM account. That individual account can then be linked to one or business records. Authorizations, such as permission to edit a record must be migrated over from CCR. Once that is done, Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) records will also be accessible.

Like CCR, SAM has a business development aspect as well. It is a good tool for getting basic information on a potential subcontractor or teaming partner, and may include information on a business’s certifications, NAICS codes, size for SBA purposes, etc. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the new SAM website, it’s worth looking up your own business (and feel free to check out ours while you’re at it, just search “O’Riordan Bethel”).

It looks as if SAM will be the primary record keeping system for federal contracting for years to come, so now’s as good a time as any to get acquainted. If you haven’t already, meet SAM.

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