GSA’s Integrated Award Environment (IAE) team held a stakeholder forum (“industry day”) yesterday to provide an update to interested parties on the latest happenings with the beta.SAM.gov project. I’ll touch on some of the highlights here:
beta.SAM.gov is now the official source for wage determinations
Last week (on June 14), GSA decommissioned WDOL.gov and made beta.SAM.gov the official source for wage determinations. To search for a particular wage determination, go to https://beta.sam.gov/, select “Wage Determinations” from the drop-down menu to the left of the main search bar, enter your search terms and click “Search.” If you need help with the transition, go to https://wdolhome.sam.gov/ to access resources, including a training video.
Login.gov comes to beta.SAM.gov
Starting sometime this summer (2019), GSA will begin using login.gov to sign users into their beta.SAM.gov account, just like they currently do with SAM.gov. If you’ve already set up an account with beta.SAM.gov, your roles and account details will transfer.
More details on the phasing out of DUNS numbers
You may have heard that the U.S. government is moving away from using the proprietary DUNS number as the unique entity identifier for doing business with the federal government. Yesterday we got a clearer picture of timing and what the transition will look like.
What is replacing the DUNS number is a new, non-proprietary identifier that will be requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management (SAM). This should eliminate one of the issues people have with the current system, which is that potential contractors first have to go to Dun & Bradstreet to get a DUNS number if they don’t already have one, then go to SAM to get registered. Contractors have to go through this same two-step process if they move or need to make any other changes to the contact information associated with their DUNS number. With the new system, there will be one place to go for this: SAM.
As many people guessed, there will be a brief period of overlap before DUNS numbers are done away with (see draft mock-up), and even then, DUNS numbers already assigned to records will be retained for historical purposes. Here are the three phases you have to look forward to:
- Phase 1 (through July 2019): DUNS is the official identifier for doing business with the federal government.
- Phase 2 (July 2019 to December 2020): DUNS will remains the official identifier, but GSA will begin to assign, and make visible, new SAM-generated unique entity identifiers (UEIs) for all SAM registration records.
- Phase 3 (December 2020): SAM-generated UEIs becomes the official identifier for doing business with the federal government.
Some things about the new system are still being worked out, but if you want more details, you can check the UEI update page here.
FedBizOpps is the next to transition
As you may know, you can already search for federal business opportunities in beta.SAM.gov (by selecting “Contract Opportunities” in the drop-down menu by the search bar), but the listings are up to a day behind the live listings available at FBO.gov. Beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 (which is just around the corner), GSA is planning to “launch” FBO on beta.SAM.gov. What’s odd is that they used the term “launch.” With all of the other systems they’ve transitioned so far, duplicate information from the systems was made available in beta.SAM.gov, but it was not considered “authoritative” until they decommissioned the old system. I may be splitting hairs, but I suspect it’s notable that they are using different language with FBO.
Want to know more?
If this brief overview isn’t enough for you, you may want to download the slide deck from the stakeholder forum.
Want to provide feedback?
The IAE team will be holding another focus group to get feedback from the contracting community on Wednesday, July 31. If you’d like to participate, send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “SAM Entity Workshops.”