GSA Demystifies DUNS Replacement ID

Change can be confusing. Change can be frustrating.” No, this is not from the cover of a self-help book. This is GSA’s acknowledgment that, often, we fear change.

To combat fears about changes to the DUNS number, GSA recently released a Q&A providing some answers on the new Unique Entity ID (UEI) Standard, which is set to replace the current DUNS system in December 2020. The Q&A followed GSA’s online meeting on the topic in July, which hosted over 700 attendees. GSA answered general questions about the transition, the UEI that will be used, and how to obtain a new identifier. Let’s take a look.

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GAO Reminds Contractors to Update All Profiles After a Name Change or Risk Bid Rejection

Many businesses go through name changes and rebranding throughout their growth as a company. But if you’re a government contractor, a business name change requires added updates that, if not done correctly and promptly, can affect the business’s ability to win a contract. GAO’s recent decision hammered home just how important it is to make sure your contractor profiles are updated if you want to win contracts.

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U.S. Government to Ditch the DUNS

Earlier this month, the GSA announced a new Unique Entity Identifier Standard for Federal awards management. The new standard will go into effect December 2020. It will replace the current DUNS number system as the official identifier for all businesses contracting with the U.S. Federal Government. This should make registering to do business with the federal government a little easier, but the proof will be in the roll-out.

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Five Things You Should Know: Registering in SAM.gov

Everyone involved with government contracting knows, or should know, a little bit about registration in SAM.gov. Registration is now required for ALL federal contractors at the time they submit bids.

This blog post provides you with 5 things you should know about registering in SAM.gov.

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FAR Update Clarifies SAM Registration Deadline

In last week’s edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review, we referenced a FAR update that has important ramifications for prospective small business government contractors. This rule is potentially important enough that we figured it deserved its own stand-alone SmallGovCon post.

So what’s so important about this new rule? In a nutshell, it clarifies that offerors must be registered in SAM at the time of bid submission to be considered for an award.

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GAO Denies Protest Challenging SAM Registration

One of the first things a prospective government contractor (including a joint venture) must do to be eligible for an award is to create a business profile in the System for Award Management (or “SAM”). Before making an award, in fact, the contracting officer is obligated to verify the prospective contractor is registered in SAM.

Not only must a business be registered in SAM, but its registration should be up-to-date. It’s an enduring myth of government contracting that a business’s SAM profile only has to be updated annually. But as FAR 4.1201(b)(1) instructs, an offeror’s SAM profile has to be updated as necessary to ensure that it is “kept current, accurate, and complete.”

What happens if a prospective awardee fails to update its SAM profile? Can a disappointed bidder challenge the basis of the award? The answer, according to GAO, is “it depends.”

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SAM Registration: New Bill Requires Notification Of Free Assistance

There is no cost to register in SAM or other government contracting databases–but that hasn’t stopped some companies from charging would-be contractors hefty fees for assistance in the registration process.  Some of these companies are out-and-out frauds, like the Tampa firm whose owner recently pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a FEMA registration scheme.  And others, while not fraudulent, still often neglect to mention an important (but for them, inconvenient) fact: government contracts registration assistance is available for free through Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and other reputable sources.

Now, a bipartisan new Senate bill aims to get the word out about the free registration assistance available to prospective contractors.

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