Please be advised: SAM.gov is a bit messy right now. Anyone who wants to do business with the federal government needs to be actively registered in SAM.gov. SAM stands for System for Award Management and it’s the gateway to government contracting. SAM is a free one-stop-shop for getting your CAGE code, Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), your company listing on the Small Business Administration’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) directory, self-certifying as a Small Disadvantaged Business, and much more. Your registration needs to be renewed each year otherwise it lapses and any pending awards or current contracts could be jeopardized.
Recently, there have been some major changes in how SAM.gov validates your data, which has led to difficulties. In April 2022, SAM.gov stopped using Dun & Bradstreet’s DUNS numbers to identify businesses and instead began using their own system-generated UEI codes, which are automatically assigned to entities upon registration. This shift should theoretically simplify things for new contractors. But the implementation has had issues and has led to address validation failures, glitches, and a growing backlog of “incident” help desk tickets at the Federal Service Desk (FSD).
Here are a couple of important updates regarding this situation:
If you’re already registered but have a renewal date upcoming, the good news is that the federal government extended all active registrations expiring between April 29, 2022 and April 28, 2023 by 30 days. This gives you some extra time to navigate the process.
The bad news is: you will not want to wait. Thirty days may not be enough extra time, depending on your circumstance.
We recommend that you begin the SAM.gov renewal process 2 months before expiration. And if you’re registering for the first time – start as early as possible. You will not be able to receive any federal contracts until you’re registered and registration approval may take weeks longer than usual.
Tip: You can check your registration status and expiration date by signing into SAM.gov, going to your “Workspace”, then clicking on the corresponding number under “Entities” (e.g. the green bubbled “1” under “Active Registration”). Selecting your “entity” should bring up a window that looks like this, where you can see your expiration date on the right.
If you got to the address validation section of the SAM.gov registration/renewal and could not find your actual business address in the list provided, you will need to submit a FSD “Incident” ticket attaching an official business document to validate your business status and verify your physical address.
If you’re just trying to renew or update in SAM.gov, luckily this should not prevent you from proceeding and submitting. The instruction guide on this page shows you how to continue your SAM.gov renewal/update even after address validation failure.
Please note that, if you are registering for the first time, you will have to wait until your FSD Incident is resolved in order to continue the process. Please read more on the validating process here.
While there’s nothing PTAC staff can do specifically to expedite a service ticket you have submitted to the FSD -- we certainly recommend asking your PTAC counselor for help with the process! We can assist you to work around glitches, upload suitable documents, avoid errors, and generally navigate the renewal/registration process correctly, which will help reduce the likelihood of further delays.
These issues can be frustrating, but we want you to know we’re all in it together, and we’re here to help. Reach out to your Procurement Specialist, or if you are not yet a client, apply on our website here.
James Forrest, Norcal PTAC Procurement Specialist