As you are likely now aware, the System for Award Management (SAM) has recently undergone significant changes, including removing the DUNS number (Dunn & Bradstreet). The DUNS has been replaced by the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), but the transition has resulted in substantial headaches for businesses everywhere. Whether you are a new registrant or simply (ha!) trying to renew your registration, this year’s process has likely resulted in significant delays and new tasks.
Let’s dive into recent changes within the system and how they affect your process:
Linking Account to Entity
Old Way: When you first began to register your entity, you used to have to enter your name and address exactly the way it appears in DUNS to get it to locate your business.
New Way: Today, you must enter your business name, address, and taxpayer name as it appears on your EIN confirmation to locate your entity.
Issues: Entities are not always found on the first try. If you’re unable to locate yours, double-check the information entered. Be sure there haven’t been any updates to the information since formation. If you still cannot find it, you must submit an incident that is now managed by the General Services Administration (GSA) instead of the Federal Service Desk (FSD). GSA, too, is behind in processing requests.
Upon initiation of your incident, you will be asked to supply documentation as “proof.” You are then at the mercy of the timeline. If you create another incident, it will take longer, so we would advise against it. There is nothing to do but wait to avoid having to stand in the back of the line again.
UEI Replaces DUNS
Old Way: Prior to April 4, 2022, businesses had to register with Dunn & Bradstreet to obtain a DUNS number as a pre-requisite to registering in SAM.
New Way: Instead of the DUNS number, each previously registered entity has been assigned a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Not all companies that have a UEI have a CAGE code, however. Your CAGE code will be assigned upon successful submission and entity validation process.
Issues: Some businesses were under the impression that once a UEI is assigned, their work is done. Do not mistake the UEI for the CAGE code. The CAGE is what makes you eligible to compete for contracts and receive payment from the federal government.
Old Way: It used to be that if you forgot what MPIN you chose upon initial registration, you had to start all over again. Not anymore!
New Way: You may be prompted to update your MPIN this year when you renew SAM, especially with previously registered entities.
Issues: The interface is confusing to many when they see one active registration and another in process with a blank MPIN, given previous experience. It has caused panic, erroneous tickets to be submitted, and the renewal process elongated. Be sure to compare your CAGE/ UEI on both and if they are the same, proceed as you would with a routine update. Be advised that you will need to change your MPIN (write it down in your files, just in case.)
There have been updates as well to the usage terms in SAM. We’ll only say that account sharing is against the rules. If your registration is outsourced to a 3rd-party, you may want to ensure that you are the Administrator and assign them a role, as per SAM’s process.
Update – August 2022
The user interface has changed during the validation process. It seems in an effort to simplify, SAM has combined the validation with the registration to make it one seamless process and prevent a company from erroneously submitting more than one ticket for various changes. Submitting more than one ticket has undoubtedly proven an extended wait time. Upon recognizing your entity in the validation list of search results, you will be able to correct any inaccurate information on the next page, as well as specify exactly which is incorrect (for many, it’s the physical address) and proceed with uploading your documentation.
The new changes have forced many businesses to submit tickets, which will sit in a queue anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks before resolution. DO NOT WAIT until the last minute to renew your SAM this year, as any slight hurdle could force your CAGE inactive, causing a loss of revenue if you have open contracts. If you need assistance or have questions, reach out to your local PTAC (APEX Accelerators) for free guidance or click here for expedited support.