The System for Award Management (SAM) located at www.sam.gov is the data repository necessary for doing business with the federal government. The website is free to the public and users of SAM include contracting officials, contractors, and the public.
To be awarded a contract by the federal government, contractors are required to register in SAM. The one-time registration provides basic information for both procurement and financial transactions. The information must be validated annually by updating and renewing the entity registration.
SAM allows government agencies, contracting officials, and other contractors to search for your company based on your ability, size, location, experience, ownership, and more. SAM allows users to search for firms certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the 8(a) Development and HUBZone Programs. SAMalso incorporates the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) system. ORCA is a web-based system where the contractor provides required information about the company (e.g., accounting procedures; travel policies). ORCA verifies that the firm meets certain Federal requirements (e.g., complies with equal opportunity legislation).
SAM validates the contractor’s information and electronically shares the secure and encrypted data with the Federal agencies’ finance offices to facilitate paperless payments through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Additionally, SAM shares the data with Government procurement and electronic business systems. A contractor only needs to input business information in one database), which will then automatically populate the SBA Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database.
As a contractor to register in SAM you need to have the following:
- Dun & BradstreetData Universal Numbering System (D-U-N-S®). See my previous blog Dun & Bradstreet (A Necessary Evil)
- Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The TPIN will be verified by the IRS so it must be entered EXACTLY like the paperwork from the IRS. The TPIN will be either the Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the contractor company or in the case of a Sole Proprietor the number will be the Social Security Number (SSN). Keep in mind activating a new EIN with the IRS takes 2-5 weeks.
- Bank Account information for EFT
- North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The NAICS codes will inform the public what kind of industry work you can perform.
Once your registration is submitted for processing, information from SAM is routed to Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS) in Battle Creek, Michigan for Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code assignment. Once the CAGEcode is approved it will be sent to SAM to update the registration. Government contracting requires a CAGEcode. The code may be used for a Facility Clearance, a Pre-Award survey, automated Bidders Lists, pay processes, source of supply, etc. In some cases, prime contractors may require their sub-contractors to have a CAGECode also.
For further information please visit the DGE web site.