About SAM (System for Award Management)


In July 2012, the General Services Administration (GSA) combined the Central Contractor Registration (CCR/FedReg), Online Representations & Certifications Application (ORCA) and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) into one main contractor database. This database was named System for Award Management or better known as the SAM registration. Since its inception, the SAM registration has been a step in the right direct for collaborated federal systems that have a heavy interaction with both federal officials and United States business owners.

Integrated Award Environment (IAE): Future Plans of Incorporation

The SAM registration is only one feature that is part of a larger puzzle all working towards streamlining acquisition processes that pertain to grant, loans contracts and intergovernmental transactions. According to the GSA, the Federal Government plans on integrating 10 different federal procurement systems as well as the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance all into the single, streamlined system all using the Integrated Award Environment (IAE) as mandated in the Presidential E-Government Initiative.

The IAE vision includes the following systems:

  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Active
  • ESRS – Not Active
  • Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Sub-award Reporting System(FSRS) – Not Active
  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)
  • Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS)
  • Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS)
  • Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps)
  • Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS)
  • Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS)
  • Wage Determination Online (WDOL) – Not Active

The Benefit of the SAM Registration

One login now provides access to all the information needed to make an award determination, simplifies or reduces the time required to compete a procurement, and eliminates all artificial information categories and divisions for data entry. From a system administrator perspective the decrease in interfaces reduces maintenance challenges and costs for federal employees managing the online records. The SAM registration was designed to incorporate all of this government contractor information into one system to eliminate overlays between multiple systems, limit the potential of errors, and lowers the operation costs based on IT servers and on-staff personnel.

If a business provides a specific line of products or services, there is a great chance the Federal Government would have a use for it. The government buys everything from paperclips to spaceships, and everything in-between.

Rather than needing a separate login for every procurement system, you will soon be able to access everything you need with a single SAM login. Data will also only need to be entered once, reducing the risk of duplicated or conflicting information. Also, rather than needing to keep track of several different websites, vendors will soon be able to register, file representations & certifications, and search for contracting opportunities all from a single location.

Role in the SAM Registration

The Administrator has the complete authority over users within the business’s entity. There are four different non-federal roles: Entity Administrator, Entity Registration Representative , Entity Registration Viewer, Services Contract Inventory (SCI) Reporter.

  • Entity Administrator creates and manages the entity’s registration and all entity users.
  • Entity Registration Representative edits and maintains an entity’s registration.
  • Entity Registration Viewer only has read-only access to an entity’s registration.
  • Services Contract Inventory (SCI) Reporter creates and maintains an entity’s SCI; The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires civilian agencies to prepare an annual inventory of their service contracts. To complete this report, some data must be entered by the SCI Reporter who have been awarded such contracts.

SAM Renewal

The United States Federal Government requires every business renew their SAM registration at least once a year. The SAM registration will send notifications to registered users 15 days, 30 days, and 60 days prior to expiration. Procurement Officers will even recommend that a business renew their SAM registration 1 to 2 months in advance in order to avoid any inconsistencies or avoid complications.

SAM Registration Companies

Sam Registration Companies provide Federal Vendors and alternative to processing Federal registrations themselves.  Many vendors choose to use SAM Registrations firms in order to process the Federal registration paperwork.  These third party firms can save a new vendor between 20 and 40 hours by physically processing the registration on the companies behalf.  Many times a company will encounter SAM Registration issues when they are processing a Merger, Novation, or even an address change, making this firms extra valuable for these transactions. Please read the article on how to choose a SAM Registration company at https://www.uscontractorregistration.com/sam-gov-registration-companies/ for some suggestions on how to pick a SAM Registration Company.

Migration from CCR/FedReg/ORCA to the SAM Registration

As with any other change in online federal systems, there are some pitfalls for users. SAM migration is dependent upon the user maintaining the same email address and remembering their login information for each current system, which can be a daunting task for most individuals. If there are any errors or incorrect data entered into the legacy systems, those errors will at best be migrated into SAM and, at worst, may complicate the migration process. Officials are advising current users to review their registration for errors, outdated point of contacts, and other problems before SAM goes live next month.

The best way to be assured of a smooth, stress-free transition is by working with a US Federal Contractor Registration Case Manager. Case Managers are highly experienced with the registration requirements for federal contractors and grant recipients. They thoroughly review all the vendor’s information to prevent discrepancies or errors and can quickly resolve any problems that do occur. Businesses which originally signed up with the legacy systems will be migrated to SAM by their Case Manager when the new system is available.

For answers to commonly asked questions about SAM Registration, click here.

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More information about getting registered

USFCR Placement Department

Current client with questions

USFCR Customer Service

USFCR charges for Full Service Registration, which includes a dedicated case manager to physically process government registration paperwork on the client’s behalf. The Government offers registration forms for free at SAM.gov but SAM.gov will not physically process these forms for the client. All Fees Paid to USFCR are for the filing of government paperwork on a client’s behalf, saving the entity time and ensuring accurate filings.