Quiet launch for GSA's SAM
In an unpublicized manner, the General Services Administration made live a consolidated acquisition systems website that brings together three previously separate systems.
The new website--the System for Award Management--provides functionality previously found in three separate systems: the Central Contractor Registration, the Online Representations and Certifications Application and the Excluded Parties List System.
The website is part of a larger effort to distill all nine governmentwide acquisition-related online systems the General Services Administration characterizes as part of the Integrated Acquisition Environment into one single backend database and one public front, i.e., SAM.
The consolidation effort hasn't been without challenges. GSA estimated in 2008 it would cost $95.7 million in contract spending to complete the program, whereas the Government Accountability Office in a March 15 report said the likely cost is $181.1 million.
Rollout of the SAM websites has been delayed, too, by lack of funding from a skeptical Congress. GSA requested $15 million for fiscal 2011 for the project, but received just $7 million. It requested $38 million in fiscal 2012, but received $0. The fiscal 2013 budget proposal requests $21 million.
Further planned phases of SAM consolidation that would integrate other online systems such as FedBizOpps may be in danger of further delays or suspension should funding remain sporadic or inconstant.
The initial rollout of SAM wasn't without hiccups, with the system going offline for a few days after it's July 30 launch. On Aug. 6, users have been warned on the system's homepage that the system "is still experiencing some performance issues which may result in a slowness of page loading or maybe even a web page error."
- go to the SAM webpage
- download the SAM user guide (.pdf)
- download a July 27 Dense Procurement and Acquisition Policy memo on implementation of SAM Phase (.pdf)
- download a February 2012 GSA presentation on SAM (.pdf)