Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
A recent memo from Richard Ginman, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, pointed to issues with the System for Award Management in announcing that contractors would not have to adhere to the registration requirement before bidding on government work.
“Since implantation, SAM has experienced performance issues that have affected the timely processing of awards,” Ginman wrote. “GSA has taken aggressive action to resolve these issues promptly. This deviation provides a brief period of time for achieving resolution of the remaining issues, and will remain in effect only until these actions are complete.”
According to the memo, which was obtained by Washington Business Journal, contractors are required to be registered in SAM prior to submitting invoices, but not prior to award; also, contracting officers are not required to check SAM to ensure registration prior to an award. They may require prospective contractors to attach copies of other annual representations and certifications in lieu of online access to that documentation.
SAM was officially activated July 29 after numerous delays, consolidating the Central Contractor Registration, which maintains company data; the Excluded Parties List System, which tracks companies and people suspended or debarred from doing business with federal government; the Federal Agency Registration, used to collect standard data on federal agency buyers and sellers; and the Online Representations and Certifications Application, where contractors essentially confirm that they are qualified to do business with government.
Since then, contractors have complained about the system being cumbersome, bugging and inflexible. GSA have ordered SAM developer IBM Corp. to develop a plan of action to improve SAM.