What is SAM?

The General Service Administration’s (GSA) Office of Government wide Policy is consolidating the government wide acquisition and award support systems into one new system—the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is streamlining processes, eliminating the need to enter the same data multiple times, and consolidating hosting to make the process of doing business with the government more efficient.

SAM is changing the way you do business by merging nine legacy systems into one. This provides users one login and access to all the capabilities previously found in the legacy systems. SAM also consolidates data from these systems into a single database, eliminating data overlap while sharing the data across the award lifecycle.

SAM is currently being developed in phases. Phase 1, released in July 2012, includes the capabilities found previously in Central Contractor Registration (CCR)/Federal Agency Registration (FedReg), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS). Upcoming releases to SAM will include the capabilities found today in the electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS)/FFATA Subaward Reporting System (FSRS), the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), Wage Determinations On Line (WDOL), Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), and the combination of Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS), Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) and the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS).

Who is required to register in SAM?

Any government, business, grantee or organization (known as an “Entity” in SAM) wishing to do business with the federal government under a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contract, or anyone applying for federal grants, cooperative agreements or other forms of federal financial assistance through Grants.gov, must be registered in SAM. Also, consider creating a SAM account if you wish to utilize the full set of capabilities that have been developed in SAM and/or migrated from legacy systems (CCR, FedReg, ORCA and EPLS).

How do I access or register my business in SAM?

To create an account and access SAM as a new user:

1. Go to https://www.sam.gov.
2. Click on "Create an individual user account."
3. Complete the requested information, and then click "Submit/Create."
4. Select "Individual User Account."
5. You will receive an email confirming you have created a user account in SAM. You can now register an entity, search For Official Use Only (FOUO) information, and (if you are a designated government official) enter exclusions into the system.
6. If you are an organization, business, government agency or grantee (known in SAM as an "entity"), you must also register your entity in SAM.

To register in SAM as an entity:
1. Login with your user ID and password.
2. Gather all of the required information needed to complete your registration.
3. Click on "Register New Entity" from the left side navigation pane.
4. Complete and submit the online registration. It is estimated that it will take approximately 30 minutes to complete registration if you already have all the necessary information on hand, depending upon the size and complexity of your entity.

You will receive an email confirming that your registration is in process. Note that new registrations can take an average of 7-10 business days to process in SAM. SAM must send out some information for validation with outside parties before your registration can be activated; this includes TIN validation with the IRS and CAGE validation/assignment with DoD.
This timeframe may be longer if the information you provide is flagged for manual validation by either party. If you notice your registration has had a 'Submitted' status for longer than 10 business days, and you have not otherwise been contacted to correct or update information, please contact the Federal Service Desk at 866-606-8220 or https://www.fsd.gov.

What information do I need to register my entity in SAM?

Depending on the type of registration you need, categories of information needed may include the following:

1. Core Data - Includes, but is not limited to, an entity's DUNS and/or DoDAAC, name, address, CAGE or NCAGE code*, taxpayer or employer ID numbers (TIN or EIN), general information, financial information, and details about any proceedings in which the entity may currently be involved. Core Data is mandatory for all registration types.
2. Assertions - Includes, but is not limited to, data about the types of goods and services the entity provides, the entity size, NAICS Codes, optional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and disaster-relief data.
3. Representations and Certifications - Details related to an entity's small business status, responses to commonly used Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) provisions/clauses, and Architect-Engineer Responses (SF330 Part II).
4. Points of Contact (POC) - Types include, but are not limited to, contacts for accounts receivable, electronic business and government business. POC information is mandatory for all registration types.

Before you start, please be sure you also have gathered the following information:

1. Your Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, and the name and address associated with that DUNS
2. Your Taxpayer Identification Number and the name associated with that TIN (from your W-2 or W-9)
3. Your Contractor and Government Entity (CAGE) Code, if you already have one (if you don't, one will be assigned to you during registration)
4. Your Electronic Funds Transfer information, such as your financial institution's ABA Routing Number and your account number, along with the bank phone or fax number

You will not be unable to submit your registration online unless all the mandatory information is provided. For more information on how to use the system, see the System for Award Management User Guide.

Important things to know in federal contracting after a disaster

1. Preferences for small business concerns located in areas for which the President has declared a major disaster.

15 U.S.C. 644(f), authorizes procuring agencies to provide contracting preferences for small business concerns located in areas for which the President has declared a major disaster, during the period of the declaration. Under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) § 6.208, contracting officers may set aside solicitations to allow only offerors residing or doing business in the area affected by a major disaster. Under existing FAR § 26.202-1, such local area set asides may be further set aside for small business concern.

15 USC 644(f) also provides that if an agency awards a contract to a small business located in a disaster area through a contracting preference, the value of the contract shall be doubled for purposes of determining compliance with the small business contracting goals described in section 15 USC 644(g)(1)(A) of the Small Business Act.

Consequently, for FY 2017 and going forward, SBA will provide agencies double credit for goaling purposes for an award that is identified as a local area set aside and a small business or other socioeconomic set aside in FPDS. SBA will calculate and provide the extra credit through the agency Goaling Scorecard process.

2. Disaster Recovery Assistance Government Procurement Opportunities

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the lead agency responsible for Federal Government disaster response and recovery. Through their Industry Liaison Program (ILP), FEMA establishes strategic relationships with suppliers and stakeholders to serve as an information provider for suppliers seeking to do business with FEMA. They also connect suppliers with the program offices in support of FEMA’s mission. Visit the FEMA Industry Liaison Program website at http://www.fema.gov/about-industry-liaison-program  to learn how to do business with FEMA. Select the dropdown menu titled “How To Do Business With FEMA”.

In summary, the steps required are: 

• Register with the System for Award Management (SAM) at www.sam.gov. Complete the Disaster Response Information section in SAM indicating you want to be included in the Disaster Response Registry. The Disaster Response Registry is used by FEMA and The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to establish their list of contractors that want to provide disaster-response assistance through Federal Government procurement opportunities. 

Visit https://www.acquisition.gov/disaster-response to learn more about the Disaster Response Registry.

• Complete the ILP Vendor Profile form (https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/29748)  and submit it to “fema-industry@fema.dhs.gov”; and

• Look for contracting opportunities at the following websites:

 Federal Business Opportunities ( www.fbo.gov ) (Contract opportunities exceeding $25,000)

 or DHS Advance Acquisition Planning System ( www.dhs.gov/xopnbiz/opportunities/gc_1300288340710.shtm ) (To monitor the DHS Acquisition Planning Forecast System – contract actions exceeding $150,000)

Visit the FEMA ILP website for more information about FEMA programs and opportunities.

If you are a small business, you may also contact the FEMA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) Small Business Specialist (SBS) to obtain information. The SBS contact email is FEMA-SB@fema.dhs.gov  and the phone number is 202-288-4657.

Before contacting the SBS, we recommend you complete your SAM registration and submit the ILP Vendor Profile form. The SBS may also request you send your company Capability Statement.

For more information on the FEMA Small Business Program visit https://www.fema.gov/small-business-program .

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers:

If you are looking to for prime contract opportunities with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, you need to register in SAM (www.sam.gov) and add your company to the Disaster Response Registry in SAM. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers establishes their disaster-response list based on the Disaster Response Registry. After you are registered in SAM monitor FedBizOpps (www.fbo.gov) for opportunities.

If you are looking for a list of U.S. Army Corp of Engineers prime contractors for subcontracting opportunities, visit http://www.swd.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us/Small-Business/ . At this website, in the middle of the home page is a light-green shaded area with several links. Select the link titled “USACE Advanced Contract Initiative (ACI Contracts)” and this will provide you information on the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Emergency Support Functions to include a list of prime contractors holding contracts with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for disaster assistance. Many of the contractor’s listed have a link for subcontractor registration with their companies. Those companies that do not have a subcontractor registration link included, you can contact them directly to discuss subcontracting opportunities and any registration requirements they may have.

Visit the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers website below to learn more about doing business with the Army Corp.


Small Business Administration (SBA):

The SBA has created a Disaster Response Contracts web page to provide contractors information on procurement support in emergency / disaster situations. Visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/disaster-response-contracts .

American Red Cross

If you interested in providing your products and / or services to the American Red Cross visit http://www.redcross.org/contact-us/becoming-a-supplier-or-vendor  to register to become a supplier.

Puerto Rico Federal Contracting Center (FeCC) Services:


If you require assistance with government registrations (SAM, CMBL, etc.) or understanding how to submit a compliant offer in response to a government solicitation, please contact us at 787-758-4747 x. 3181 for no-cost assistance or via email at fecc@pridco.pr.gov .

Important Notice:

There are numerous for-profit companies that may contact you to offer you services on doing business with government agencies. Some of these companies use approaches that make them appear to be official government agencies and if you don’t act and reply back you may miss out on government opportunities. In some cases, they try to lead you to think that a registration is expiring or incomplete, which may impact your ability to do business with the government. Their objective is to get you to contact them so they can promote their services to you for a cost. Many of the same services they offer are provided by the Puerto Rico FeCC without any cost to you. If you are contacted by a company offering government-assistance services for a fee, please feel free to contact us and we will explain the services we provide at no cost to you.