A common thread between all government contractors is SAM.gov. If your company does business with any federal government agency, you’re required to register as an entity on SAM.gov. You’re also required to update that registration on an annual basis and whenever changes occur (such as a change in company name, address, point of contact, or NAICS codes). Government contractors should also be familiar with beta.SAM.gov, which has served as the primary website for federal contract opportunities since late 2019.
Last month, GSA’s Integrated Award Environment (IAE) implemented a significant change that impacted both SAM.gov and beta.SAM.gov users. On May 24, the functionality of SAM.gov was transferred to beta.SAM.gov, the “beta” was dropped from beta.SAM.gov, and beta.SAM.gov officially became SAM.gov. The consolidation of these two platforms is a significant milestone in IAE’s nearly decade long project to merge multiple government websites into a single platform for people who make, receive, and manage federal awards.
What does the SAM.gov integration mean to your company? Below we provide a quick overview of the legacy SAM.gov and beta.SAM.gov websites and highlight some of the major changes impacting users of each platform.
The Legacy SAM.gov
Purpose: For government contractors, the main purpose of SAM.gov is to register to do business with the federal government or to update their entity registration.
The System for Award Management, SAM.gov, originally launched in 2012 as a consolidated version of the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS).
First, you will still go to https://www.sam.gov and use the same login.gov account to sign in. While the overall look of SAM.gov will be different, the forms to register as an entity have not changed.
In order to view your entity registration, you are now required to sign in. You may notice, in addition to your DUNS number, there is now a SAM Unique Entity ID (UEI) listed. The SAM UEI is automatically assigned to all entities and is expected to become the official UEI in April of 2022. GSA has been working on a plan for years to replace the DUNs number as the UEI, and the transition is expected to be seamless. The change will benefit government contractors who will no longer need to go through Dun & Bradstreet to obtain a DUNS number prior to registering on SAM.
The user roles for companies in SAM.gov have changed slightly. Entity Registration Representative and Reporter roles have been consolidated into one role, Data Entry. Below is a list of the legacy roles and their new names.
- Entity Registration Viewer > Viewer
- Entity Registration Representative > Data Entry
- Reporter > Data Entry
- Entity Administrator > Administrator
The merger of the two SAM websites arguably has the greatest impact on legacy SAM.gov users. While the website url has not changed, the new SAM.gov is based on the beta.SAM platform and may take some time to adjust to.
Purpose: For government contractors, beta.SAM.gov was mainly used to search and track contract opportunities.
beta.SAM.gov had coexisted alongside SAM.gov since its launch nearly four years ago. While SAM.gov remained the official portal for entity registration, beta.SAM.gov served as the production site as GSA’s IAE migrated several government websites into one.
Most notably, the website for federal contract opportunities, FedBizOpps or fbo.gov, was migrated to beta.SAM and then decommissioned in late 2019. Last year, contract data reports moved from Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS) to beta.SAM. However, for the time being, FPDS still exists as a standalone website where you can conduct simple searches for contract awards.
beta.SAM users were essentially given a preview of the new SAM.gov website in April. That’s when GSA launched a redesign of beta.SAM in preparation for the website’s merger with SAM.gov. The redesigned website, referred to as the “modernized space”, was created based upon user feedback. The new homepage includes links to each domain—the functionality of the each legacy website migrated to beta.SAM.gov is referred to as a domain. All domains are now listed on the homepage and link to new landing pages that include related help articles.Below are a few highlights of additional changes.
Unfortunately, advanced keyword search functionality is not included in the changes below. However, during a special stakeholder forum last month, GSA polled attendees on their thoughts on keyword search modifiers. Improving search is a priority on GSA’s list of enhancements, so stay tuned for updates.
- Condensed search results that display more results within the same space
- The ability to select how many results you’d like to view per page
- The ability to jump to a specific page in the search results
- Improved data filters, with the option to select Response/Date Offers Due within the next week, month, 3 months, or year
Since SAM.gov and beta.SAM were combined last month, the website now includes options for Entity Registration, Entity Reporting, and Exclusions.
Review the SAM.gov Integration Changes In-Depth
Below are a few GSA resources that detail the changes and provide additional information regarding the SAM.gov platform.
- Before and After Comparison Guide
- SAM FAQs
- SAM Integration: What is (and What is Not) Changing
- GSA IAE Q&A from SAM.gov May Stakeholder Forum
The consolidation of SAM.gov and beta.SAM.gov was a massive undertaking and is a significant achievement by GSA’s IAE. The integration of these two platforms was four years in the making. However, GSA’s IAE is not finished yet. Below is a list of websites that have been migrated to SAM.gov and retired, as well as a list of websites that are set to be migrated in the future.
Migrated and Retired
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA): database of all assistance programs, including grants and loans
- Federal Business Opportunities (FBO): postings of federal contract opportunities
- Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG) Reports: detailed information on federal contract actions over $10,000
- Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS): repository for contractor performance information
- Wage Determinations OnLine (WDOL): Service Contract Act & Davis-Bacon Act wage determinations required for contract actions
Future Migration Planned
Below are five websites that GSA plans to integrate into SAM.gov. GSA is currently in the early stages of transitioning the eSRS website.
- Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS): documents contractor performance
- Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS): subcontracting reporting data
- Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS): integrity and performance information
- Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS): subcontract award information in compliance with the FFATA
- FPDS-NG Data Entry & Search: detailed information on federal contract actions over $10,000