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Many government contractors are familiar with the alphabet soup of federal procurement systems, including the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS). Many federal contractors must register with, update and periodically monitor these systems for important information. Eventually, these systems will only be accessible through a single portal called the System for Award Management (SAM). The transition will occur through several phased consolidations. Phase I was originally planned to consolidate CCR, ORCA and EPLS by May 29, 2012. The Phase I implementation date has been delayed to the end of July 2012.
Why consolidate? The federal government has directed the General Services Administration (GSA) to combine several federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) into a single new system. The intent is to create efficiencies and reduce the burden on those seeking to do business with the federal Government. The result is that vendors can log into one system with a single password to manage their entity information and procurement information.
Other less common systems to be included in SAM include the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS), Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Sub-award Reporting System (FSRS), Wage Determinations Online (WDOL), Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG), and Past Performance and Information Retrieval system (PPIRS). Currently each system requires a separate login, separate process and separate location of data. Ultimately, all of these systems should be consolidated into SAM.
What should federal contractors do in the interim?
- Review the SAM information at http://sam.gov.
- Recognize that transitioning to any new system will create problems until bugs are resolved.
- Continue to register and update contractor data on the CCR and ORCA, and monitor the other systems until SAM is implemented.
- Pay particular attention to your North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes when you self-certify.
- Once Phase I is implemented and SAM “goes live”, register for a SAM account at http://sam.gov. A contractor already registered in CCR or ORCA need not act until it is time to update registration. Records submitted through CCR or ORCA should be waiting in SAM. Data that was public in the legacy systems will remain public in SAM.