Monday, May 23, 2016

Registering in SAM - Before Proposal Submission or Before Contract Award?

The language in FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) is inconsistent in terms of whether offerors need to be registered in SAM (System for Award Management) prior to submitting an offer, or prior to award of a contract.

FAR 52.204-8(b) and (d) states that if clause 52.204-7, System for Award Management, is included in the solicitation (and it almost always is included), the the offeror verifies by submission of the offer that the representations and certifications in SAM are current and accurate.

The aforementioned clause instructs offerors to complete representations and certifications by registering in SAM prior to the submission of offers.

On the other hand, FAR 4.1102, System for Award Management - Policy, states that SAM registration (which includes the online representations and certifications (reps and certs) must be completed by the time of award.

This inconsistency has created no small amount of confusion. While most offerors are duly registered in SAM, there have been some companies whose offers were deemed non-responsive because of their failure to register in SAM prior to submitting their offers.

The FAR Councils have issued a proposed rule to fix this inconsistency. The proposal is a modification to FAR 4.1102 and 4.1103 to require offerors to register in SAM prior to submission of an offer.

But companies interested in bidding on Government contracts, if they haven't already done so, should just go ahead and register in SAM. Its not that big of a deal and no one should be paying money to have someone do it for them. Set aside a couple of hours and get it done.

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