Below is an important change in the System for Award Management, or SAM, database. The government’s language clearly indicates they are targeting the practices of those companies that prey on those new to the government world. Although, this will mean an extra step and will add time to the process, I applaud GSA for addressing this problem. This is for NEW REGISTRANTS ONLY. Just the other morning, I was talking with a Colorado business that was taken by one of those companies. Always ask your PTAC counselor about anything that seems strange. In order to expedite process and take some burden off our clients I will be exploring the possibility of getting our counselors certified as Notaries. More to come on that.
GSA implemented a new security measure last night in the System for Award Management (SAM). That is, every new registrant is now required to provide a notarized letter confirming the entity’s Administrator is allowed to register the entity in SAM and make changes to its registration before GSA will activate the registration — this is effective immediately. Notarized letters must be mailed to the Federal Service Desk and contain the information outlined in the FAQ posted at https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/answer.do?sysparm_kbid=d2e67885db0d5f00b3257d321f96194b&sysparm_search=kb0013183. Note that most local governments (e.g., town/city halls) and financial institutions provide notary services.
A new registration may now take several days to become active depending on the information provided passing existing validations, as well as delivery of the notarized letter.
Background on the change: GSA has posted information at https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/organization/federal-acquisition-service/office-of-systems-management/integrated-award-environment-iae/sam-update. They have been participating in an active investigation of alleged, third party fraudulent activity in SAM. Due to the issues identified, GSA has decided to implement some immediate manual requirements that limit who is authorized create and edit access to new registrations in SAM. GSA stresses that they are working to identify more automated methods of implementing additional internal controls that will obviate the requirement for a notarized letter. In the meantime, GSA has updated the SAM website and instructions for registering entities, and is increasing staffing at the Federal Service Desk to handle the processing of the notarized letters and address questions.
Any questions should be referred to the Federal Service Desk.
Special note regarding entities registering from locations outside the United States – these entities MUST contact the Federal Service Desk as a part of this process, even though they do not have access to a notary. As a reminder, the Federal Service Desk’s contact information is available at https://www.fsd.gov.