What Should You Know about Registering with SAM?

September 20, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

No one ever said change was easy, and that certainly seems to be holding true for the System for Award Management, or SAM for short. We have spotlighted the delays in launching SAM in past blog posts, but now other bothersome issues are emerging.

In case you haven’t been keeping up with SAM, the site is consolidating many federal systems that support the federal acquisition and award process. Rather than each of the systems requiring their own logins and having overlapping data, SAM will bring all these systems into one, with one login, combined data and centralized host. Sounds great in theory, but in practice, there are some major kinks to work out.

SAM is slated to be rolled out in phases. The first phase included the capabilities of Central Contractor Registration, Federal Agency Registration, Online Representations and Certifications Application and the Excluded Parties List System. Over time, other federal systems will merge in to SAM.

One of the key stipulations for being awarded a federal grant is that an applicant must register with CCR. Now that CCR has merged with SAM, those entities now must obtain a SAM registration. Others with current CCR registrations eventually will have to migrate them to SAM. Although they still have a few more weeks to complete this task, some of our readers had expressed difficulties in doing this. One told us that she has been trying to transfer her organization’s information for several weeks on the online registration site, but has yet to receive confirmation.

Although SAM officials admit there are issues to work out, they are aware of the problems. We contacted the SAM help desk, and they suggested two options:

  • continue to attempt to complete the registration process at SAM.gov.; or
  • contact the hotline at 1-888-295-4352, which is manned by a government contracting firm that can help with the registration process.

Because the registration process can take several days, I would urge prospective applicants not to wait until the last minute before attempting to register with SAM. With any transition, a few bugs are expected so it’s always a good practice to be prepared. Subscribers to the Local/State Funding Report and the Federal Grants Management Handbook can find out more about SAM in an upcoming article that provides more details about the registration process.

Have you had any problems registering with SAM? Let us know.

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