System for Award Management (SAM) update Do’s & Don’t

by Lillian Sunwall 

As the federal fiscal year ends, MT PTAC advisors have received numerous, urgent calls from contracting officers and small businesses for help with renewing SAM or fixing issues with the same as well as help with invoicing on various payment platforms. Since businesses must have an active SAM registration in order to receive a federal contract or get paid on one, several issues described below can add an additional layer of problems to the process. 

Several contracting officers have reached out to say they see companies with only one POC (point of contact) in SAM, the registration is expiring soon, and the business can’t seem to login to their account.   

Here are some questions that need to be asked and some best practices that would solve some of these problems up front.

  • Is the company information in your SAM registration correct?
    • Verify that your company’s proper legal name and physical address is associated with your DUNS number at Dun & Bradstreet. The legal name (down to the punctuation!) is identified in your company’s organizational documents and reflected as such at the MT SOS. Check this before you register in SAM and/or bid on a contract opportunity. MT PTAC can assist you with getting it right the first time or correcting/updating information that is not correct.
  • Do you know who is responsible for managing your company’s SAM registration? Do you have access too?
    • Don’t rely on just any employee to keep track of the SAM login credentials and security information. Ideally, this information should be maintained by the business owner or a long-term employee. All too often, random employees exit the company without providing the critical SAM registration/login information that only they knew! This makes SAM renewals and needed updates much more difficult.
  • What phone number is being used for the two-factor authentication process?
    • Don’t let an employee use their personal cell phone as a means to receive the security code for SAM login. Use the company landline, the owner’s cell phone number or one of the other authentication methods that are available.
  • What if you need to add or delete a person from your LOGIN.GOV account?
    • Your local PTAC office can walk you through the steps to access your account and make the changes.
  • Who are your Points of Contact (POCs) in SAM?
    • Make sure the POCs are correct and up to date. Typically, the owner is the POC in all sections but employees/other owners could be listed as POCs by category depending on the situation. Make sure the government POC is someone that is responsive to emails because IRS and CAGE will send emails to this person. This is different than the email for the “administrator” of the registration. Add alternative POCs just in case.
  • What if you don’t know any of the information needed to access your SAM registration?
    • Reach out to your PTAC advisor. We will help you unlock the mystery. If you have access to the former administrators email, we may be able to access the registration through that channel. If not, we will walk you through creating a user account for the new “administrator” and linking that account to the registration so that you have access. This is done via a notarized letter to Federal Service Desk.

FYI…remember that a brand-new SAM registration can take up to 10 business days to go from “submitted” status to “active” status. This is assuming no IRS or CAGE issues so don’t wait until the last minute to get this done. An expired registration will renew in less time but that assumes that you have ready access to it. Best practice, once the registration is correct/active and you have designated a stable administrator, keep it active! It is an annual renewal so keep up on it and don’t let it expire.