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UPDATE: For ALL SAM registrants, a change of protocol (notarized letter requirement + Login Change coming June 29!)

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UPDATE 06/12/2018

Official Update from GSA.gov

 https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/organization/federal-acquisition-service/office-of-systems-management/integrated-award-environment-iae/sam-update

NOTARIZED LETTER PROCESS CHANGES

How is the notarized letter review process changing on June 11, 2018?

  • Effective June 11, 2018, entities who create or update their registration in SAM.gov to apply only for federal assistance opportunities such as grants, loans, and other financial assistance programs no longer need to have an approved Entity Administrator notarized letter on file before their registration is activated.
    • Hint: This applies to you if your SAM.gov Purpose of Registration is Federal Assistance only. Check SAM.gov to find your Purpose of Registration.
  • Federal Assistance entities still must mail the original, signed copy of the notarized letter to the Federal Service Desk. Failure to do so within 30 days of activation may result in the registration no longer being active.

How is the notarized letter review process changing on June 29, 2018?

  • Effective June 29, 2018, all non-Federal entities who create or update their registration in SAM.gov will no longer need to have an approved Entity Administrator notarized letter on file before their registration is activated.
    • Hint: This applies to you if your SAM.gov Purpose of Registration is either Federal Assistance or All Awards. Check SAM.gov to find your Purpose of Registration.
  • All non-Federal entities still must mail the original, signed copy of the notarized letter to the Federal Service Desk. Failure to do so within 30 days of activation may result in the registration no longer being active.

Where can I find the notarized letter templates?

Does the notarized letter requirement apply to U.S. Federal Government entities registering in SAM?

  • No.

NEW LOGIN PROCESS FOR SAM.GOV COMING JUNE 29, 2018!

What is the new login process for SAM.gov?

  • Effective June 29, 2018, when you go to SAM.gov and log in, you will be asked to create a Login.gov user account. Your current SAM.gov username and password will no longer work.

What is the most important thing I need to do before June 29th?

  • Make sure you know the email address associated with your current SAM.gov user account.

Why do I need my current SAM.gov user account email address?

  • Using the same email address allows SAM.gov to automatically migrate your roles. If a different email address is provided, your roles will need to be reassigned. This could cause delays updating your existing registrations.

How do I find the email address for my SAM.gov user account?

  • If you don’t know which email is associated with your SAM.gov user account, take action now. Go to www.SAM.gov → My SAM → My Account Settings → Edit User Information. As of June 29, 2018, your current username and password won’t work, so take steps now to confirm your email!

What do I need to create my Login.gov user account?

  • You will need to:
    1. know the email address associated with your SAM.gov username and password
    2. have access to that email to receive a confirmation email from Login.gov, and
    3. have a working phone (cell phone or landline) to receive a security code from Login.gov.

Why is SAM.gov making these user account changes on June 29, 2018?

  • To further increase security and deter fraud, SAM.gov is partnering with Login.gov to implement multi-factor authentication for registered SAM.gov users.

Will this change impact public users who do not log in to SAM.gov?

  • No. There is no change for users who search and view public data on SAM.gov without logging in to the system.

Will I be able to get help for this new login process?

BACKGROUND

GSA’s System for Award Management (SAM) continues to support an active investigation by the GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) into alleged, third-party fraudulent activity in SAM. Only a limited number of entities registered in SAM were suspected of being impacted by this alleged fraudulent activity. In March 2018, GSA took steps to address this issue and notified affected entities. GSA continues to work with the OIG and law enforcement agencies to take additional action, as appropriate.

What has GSA been doing to address the problem?

GSA took a number of proactive steps to address this issue, including system modifications, to prevent improper activity going forward. In addition, GSA expired, then deactivated any entity registrations that appeared to have been affected. These entities were advised to validate their registration information in SAM, particularly their financial information and points of contact, before reactivating the entity registrations. Further, GSA has begun implementing additional reviews during the registration process to prevent future issues.

What interim changes were made to the SAM registration process?

These proactive steps include requiring submission of an original, signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator for the entity associated with the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. GSA posted instructions for domestic entities and instructions for international entities for easy reference. This requirement went into effect on March 22, 2018, for new entities registering in SAM and went into effect on April 27, 2018, for existing registrations being updated or renewed in SAM. Changes are coming to this process on June 11, 2018, for Federal Assistance only entities and on June 29, 2018, for all entities.

Who was impacted?

Entities with registrations that appeared to be impacted were notified. Instructions were provided explaining how to validate registration information and how to reactivate the registration. In addition, entities whose bank account information for Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) changed within the 12 months prior to March 2018 were notified. Although not associated with suspicious activity, these entities are required to validate their registration information, particularly their EFT information.

What is an entity?

In SAM, you, your company, business, or organization is referred to as an “entity.” Individuals register themselves or their entity to do business with the U.S. Federal Government by completing the registration process in SAM.

What should entities registered in SAM do to protect themselves and confirm that their bank account information has not been changed?

Entities registered in SAM are advised to log into SAM and review their registration information, particularly their bank account information for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) on the financial information page. Contact the supporting Federal Service Desk at www.fsd.gov, or by telephone at 866-606-8220 (toll free) or 334-206-7828 (internationally) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), for FREE assistance. Entities are responsible for ensuring that their information is current and correct in SAM in accordance with paragraph (b) of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause 52.232-33 or Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 25 (2 CFR § 25.310 and Appendix A), as applicable, and should routinely review such information for accuracy.

Who should entities contact if they find that payments due them from Federal agencies have been paid to a bank account that other than their own?

If an entity suspects a payment due them from a Federal agency was paid to a bank account other than their own, they should contact the Federal Service Desk at www.fsd.gov, or by telephone at 866-606-8220 (toll free) or 334-206-7828(internationally), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), for FREE assistance.

Where can an international entity find information about the notarized letter process?

Entities not located in the U.S. or its outlying areas should read the international entity instructions posted at the Federal Service Desk that outline procedures and provide links to letter templates. If they have additional questions, international entities should contact the Federal Service Desk at www.fsd.gov, or by telephone at 866-606-8220 (toll free) or 334-206-7828 (internationally), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET), for FREE assistance.

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UPDATE 06/11/2018

(Letter from the Defense Logistics Agency to the PTAP/PTAC programs)

APTAC told us the delay associated with the notarized letter requirement in SAM appears to be causing problems with delivery and payment of existing awards and created a new opportunity for the SAM sharks to flourish by promising expedited service.

DoD told me GSA is deploying measures at the end of June in SAM that will relieve the pressure.  After the June 29th release, SAM will no longer require the notarized letter be received and processed before activating the registration.  It will not remove the requirement, but it will allow the letter to follow within a certain amount of time.

In the meantime, GSS has established a prioritization process for federal agencies whereby each agency’s CCB member can prioritize an activation request to GSA (a copy of the submitted notarized letter needs to be provided).  DoD recommends that vendors ask their contracting officers to talk to their agencies’ CCB members.  

– Sherry Savage, PTAP Program Manager, The Defense Logistics Agency


UPDATE 6/1/2018 – GSA / SAM.Gov is experiencing significant delays processing mailed-in letters. Some companies have been in the queue as long as 60 days. Suggestions:

  1. Start your renewal process as early as possible – mail in the notarized letter 90 days before expiration if you can.
  2. Other federal agencies are aware of the SAM delays, and may be able to give more leeway to companies that have done their due diligence, submitted paperwork as necessary, and are delayed due to circumstances beyond their control. Unofficially, we have been advised that in lieu of a complete/active SAM registration, a company may be able to provide some provisional proof that includes:
    • Print-out of electronic sam.gov submission 
    • Copy of dated, notarized letter that was mailed to GSA
    • Ticket / Customer Number from GSA Federal Service Desk hotline 866-606-8220 (expect long wait times)

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GSA implemented a new security measure System for Award Management (SAM).  That is, every new AND renewing entity 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.

GSA has provided a template for companies to use, which is expected to cut down on incorrect/incomplete submissions.

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.

Related: 10 tips for surviving the SAM vendor database compromise, courtesy of the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center

Posted in: Press Releases

4 Comments

  1. Greg March 26, 2018

    Thank you for this!
    Will companies already registered in SAM be required to provide notarized letters to maintain and update their profiles in the future?
    Thank you!

  2. Anna Urman March 28, 2018

    Generally not – most existing companies are unaffected. There are some companies that are thought to have been compromised, and GSA will contact them directly to update/verify their information. At this point, the government has NOT said that they would require a snail-mail process for SAM renewals.

  3. Tariq Sais May 18, 2018

    Will companies already registered in SAM and currently the registration has been expired, will the notarized letters to maintain and update their profiles send by post office or by email, if by email how?
    Thanks

  4. Elizabeth May 18, 2018

    As of today it is only accepted by mail but the email option may happen in the future so keep an eye out for updates. Thanks!

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