URGENT UPDATE – SAM deployment has been pushed back to late July to allow the GSA to further prepare the necessary capabilities and ensure a smooth transition.
Change is coming soon for businesses and organizations that do business with the federal government. Starting in July the System for Award Management, or SAM, will integrate the eight current federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into a single new streamlined system. The affected legacy systems include CCR, FedReg, ORCA, EPLS, CFDA, eSRS, FBO, FPDS-NG, FSRS, PPIRS, and WDOL.
Under the current structure, individuals who deal with procurement – both vendors and purchasing officers – must visit several different websites in order to conduct business. These systems have limited communication capabilities between themselves so users must create a new log in and enter in data for each website, even if they needed to submit identical information for another system.
These legacy “siloed” systems are being replaced by a new website called the System for Award Management, or SAM for short. SAM will integrate and streamline the current systems into one single website, making federal procurement faster and simpler for its users. SAM will allow contractors, grant recipients, purchasing officers, and other individuals who use these procurement sites to create one single SAM login to access every system. Data will now only need to be entered one time so there will be no problems caused by duplicated or conflicting information entered on different systems. Vendors will now be able to register, file their reps and certs, and search for contracting opportunities all from a single location.
SAM will be deployed in phases with the first phase starting late July, 2012 and including the CCR, ORCA, FedReg, and EPLS systems. The remaining systems will be added in future deployments with completion expected in February 2013. Future deployments will be announced by the GSA as they are scheduled.
As with any new online development, high demand may exceed server capacity, resulting in slowly loading pages and difficulty accessing SAM. With many users likely needing assistance, the Federal Help Desk will be swamped, so it will be best for contractors and grant recipients to be prepared for the migration ahead of time.
It is recommended that CCR users review their registration now to prevent easily avoided issues. First and foremost, users should verify their login and email address they use on CCR. The registered email address and login are used to migrate the vendor’s CCR account to SAM so it is very important vendors know these beforehand. Now would also be a good time to review your CCR for any errors, omissions, or outdated information. Over 300 changes have been made to CCR and any problems with your CCR registration now will likely be complicated by the migration. Vendors should also review their Points of Contact or POCs on CCR to make sure they’re still valid.
With the migration date creeping up quickly, vendors and grant recipients should consider hiring a third party registration firm to assist in the migration. This third party will review the CCR and ORCA to ensure everything is up to date and correct, then manage the entire migration so there are no hiccups in your registration status. For more information about how a third party can help with the SAM migration, call the Contractor Helpline at (877) 252-2700 ext 1.