The General Service Administration's (GSA) Office of Government wide Policy is consolidating the government wide acquisition and award support systems into one newer system - the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is streamlining processes, eliminating the need to enter the same data multiple times, and consolidating hosting to make the process of doing business with the government more efficient.
SAM is changing the way you do business by merging nine legacy systems into one. This provides users one login and access to all the capabilities previously found in the legacy systems. SAM also consolidates data from these systems into a single database, eliminating data overlap while sharing the data across the award lifecycle.
SAM is currently being developed in phases. Phase 1, released in July 2012, includes the capabilities found previously in Central Contractor Registration (CCR)/Federal Agency Registration (FedReg), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS). Upcoming releases to SAM will include the capabilities found today in the electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS)/FFATA Subaward Reporting System (FSRS), the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), Wage Determinations On Line (WDOL), Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), and the combination of Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS), Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) and the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS).
In brief, the SAM is the primary, basic registration, requirement, and initial outlook of every federal government contractor -- big or small, domestic or foreign.
SAM is currently a major component of the Integrated Award Environment (IAE), which is run by the General Services Administration and includes a wide range of contractor information and activities including the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS), the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), and the Federal Business Opportunities portal (FedBizOpps or FBO). For more information on IAE, you may click here.
should my business register in SAM?
The Chamber highly recommends gaining a SAM registration. Obviously, if your business is looking toward getting involved with the federal government -- a very viable option for small businesses (in fact, for many larger small businesses, the government does tend to be a prime client) -- then getting a SAM registration is a requirement. The federal government is not, however, the only client that may require obtaining a SAM: many large corporations (particularly major contractors) require it, several state governments insist upon it, and there are numerous institutions that also mandate it.
In addition to those clients that require it, having a SAM registration can be a viable basis for a lot of business-to-business transactions. It serves as a solid understanding of a company, its capabilities, and -- to those who know how to look -- a grasp of possible past performance. Thus, regardless of your client, if your business specializes in business-to-government or business-to-business primarily, the Chamber would recommend eventually obtaining a SAM registration.
If your business deals largely with business-to-consumer transactions and has no interest in other avenues, it is unlikely your business will need a SAM or have much benefit from obtaining one. Keep in mind, it is a relatively simple process to obtain and is free. The video in the top right offers a brief tutorial on registering in SAM, but below is a far more in-depth description (nearly an hour long) of the process and all the details.
If you are having trouble or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us for additional support. Some assistance -- such a personalized attention or consulting referrals -- may require your company to becoming a member of the Chamber. Feel free to click on the below button to go to our contact page and reach out to us.