New procedure for government contracting SAM users — Has the Federal System for Award Management been hacked?
We’ve been getting some odd email requests from the Federal System for Award Management (SAM) lately. Not sure if they got hacked, but we have not responded. To support my theory, I am posting the announcement from SAM below.
If you are not “fluent” in government contracting procedures and processes, be very careful how you respond to SAM emails. The is not the place to take chances if you are new at this – either as a “prime” or a “named-sub.”
GSA implemented a new security measure last night in the System for Award Management (SAM). That is, every new registrant 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.
A new registration may now take several days to become active depending on the information provided passing existing validations, as well as delivery of the notarized letter.
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.”