The System for Award Management (SAM), which replaced the Central Contractor Register (CCR) and officially launched in late July 2012, remains riddled with glitches to the extent that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has temporarily suspended the requirement for its contractors to register in the system.
The other federal agencies, however, have not issued similar exemptions, even though GSA has formally asked system developer IBM to scrub the SAM system and make it fully operational as soon as possible. To date, neither GSA nor IBM have provided a firm date upon which the majority of system glitches should be resolved.
Feedback Government Certification Specialists Inc. has received from its clients indicates that new and old CCR users alike are experiencing difficulties with SAM, which is accessible online at http://www.sam.gov.
The SAM Help Desk contact information can be difficult to find, so here it is for easy reference:
For SAM Customer Service, contact:
Federal Service Desk
Hours: 8am – 8pm (Eastern Time)
US Calls: 866-606-8220
International Calls: 334-206-7828
The transition to SAM started today, meaning government contractors will not be able to enter new CCR profiles or update existing CCR profiles between now and July 29th.
All federal contractors should familiarize themselves with the SAM system now as this consolidated system will perform the functions of CCR, ORCA, and a variety of other databases pertaining to the federal contract awards process from here forward.
UPDATED on 5/29/2012: **GSA says this major change to CCR, ORCA, etc. has been delayed by 60 days.**
Effective May 23, 2012, multiple federal databases that affect all federal contractors will be consolidated under a new system called “SAM” which stands for System for Award Management (www.sam.gov).
Database systems all federal contractors use such as the Central Contractor Register (CCR) and the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) will all be subsumed under the SAM system.
Ms. Jill Aitoro of Washington Business Journal has published a succinct summary of these impending changes that you might find useful:
If your company profiles in CCR, ORCA, and similar systems are active and current, you do not have to do anything.
If your company profiles in CCR, ORCA, and similar systems require updating, please do so now and before May 23rd–or alternatively wait until after May 29th to do so.
May 23-29, 2012 will be a temporary blackout period as these federal databases merge with one another and consolidate within the SAM system.
All contractors should update their bookmarks to point to the new SAM system online at www.sam.gov.