Beginner's Guide to GSA & the New Consolidated MAS Contract | View the Guide Here



Every government contractor knows SAM.  SAM, short for the System for Award Management, is a database of contractors kept by the U.S. Government.  A company looking to do business with any federal agency is required to register on SAM and maintain an up-to-date record through annual renewals. SAM was created in 2012 with the consolidation of three former systems:

  • Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
  • Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA)
  • Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)

If your company was involved in the federal market in 2012 and had to transition from CCR and ORCA to SAM, it’s unlikely you have fond memories of the process. Some may have forgotten that SAM’s launch 6 years ago was just phase one of a plan to consolidate the data housed over 10 government run websites.


SAM to beta.SAM consolidation

GSA’s Integrated Award Environment (IAE) took a major step towards the next phase of SAM late last fiscal year with the release of The new site will eventually merge all the systems listed below:

  1. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) database of all assistance programs, including grants and loans
  2. Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) documents contractor performance
  3. Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) subcontracting reporting data
  4. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) integrity and performance information
  5. Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) postings of federal contract opportunities
  6. Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS) subcontract award information in compliance with the FFATA
  7. Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG) detailed information on federal contract actions over $3,000
  8. Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) repository for contractor performance information
  9. System for Award Management (SAM) contractor registration, online representations and certifications, and Excluded Parties List
  10. Wage Determinations OnLine (WDOL) Service Contract Act & Davis-Bacon Act wage determinations required for contract actions

What is the purpose of

Once the transition is complete, IAE will decommission the websites listed above, leaving SAM as the single, authoritative source for people who make, receive, and manage federal awards. One website, one login, and one search will take the place of ten separate systems.

Both industry and government should benefit from having one central platform for past performance evaluations, representations and certificates, contract opportunities, entity information, award data, and reports.  Once a user creates a login for the new SAM, they can access all information with that single login, as opposed to the cumbersome task of managing multiple user logins for each individual system.

What is the timeline for

The chart below was pulled from GSA’s Industry Day presentation on beta.SAM and outlines a timeline for the addition of functionality into the new system.

beta.sam timeline

Source: GSA presentation

Over the next couple years, and will both be live.  At the time of this posting, is still the primary, authoritative source for information. However, users can access beta.SAM to search for assistance listing, wage determinations, contract opportunities and entity registrations. Once the migration of the legacy systems is complete around fiscal year 2020, will become

How Can You Prepare for the SAM Transition?

To prepare for the transition and decommissioning of legacy sites, GSA recommends that users:

  • Create a account. According to GSA, logins created on will be valid moving forward.
  • Make note of your existing SAM login credentials to transfer legacy roles and permissions when transition is complete
  • Keep all legacy system passwords up to date prior to transition
  • For WDOL – WDOL subscriptions will not be transferred to so document WD numbers for your subscriptions to resubscribe after the transition
  • Familiarize yourself with (April 2018 Update, “Users may now save searches, “follow” Wage Determinations and Assistance Listings, and utilize improved search filters.”)

Keep in Mind – Registrations, Renewals, and Updates on or are free!!!! Any official email regarding your SAM/beta.SAM registration will come from a .gov email domain. All other email communication is likely a solicitation.

Resources for Understanding

GSA has published the videos below to help users understand and transition to