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What is the System for Award Management?

There has recently been a mass migration of all 650,000 CCR Registrations and ORCA Certifications into an entirely new data system called S.A.M. (System for Award Management). All new registrations and mandatory annual re-validations must now be completed in this new SAM System. If an organization already had a registration in the old CCR system (now referred to as Legacy Accounts), they must now be updated and re-established into the new system following the new procedures and guidelines put in place. This new process will require more work upfront, but will drastically reduce the burden of time involved in the annual revalidation and approval process.  This new process should reduce the amount of unnecessary hardships PSEs (Private Sector Entities) faced on a daily basis due to the fact that they previously had to complete two separate filings that had two separate expiration dates under the old CCR/ORCA process.

The extra confusion of multiple filings and expiration dates caused many issues in regards to awards/grants/deadlines being lost/missed as well as payments being held up for services performed and orders fulfilled. The overall transition process to this new system and it’s procedures has not gone as smoothly as anticipated. There have been multiple issues throughout this transition and everyone is working very diligently to resolve the issues at hand. This is a system-wide issue and organizations like United States Business Registration that have the most experienced and knowledgable Certified Registration Specialists are able to complete this new filing process much quicker and more efficiently to help ensure PSEs do not lose out on available Federal Awards as easily as other organizations who attempt this new process on their own. The CRS (Certified Registration Specialist) will help to reduce the possibility of the negative impacts that this new implemented process will have on organizations conducting business transactions with any Federal Government entity. Such negative impacts could result in delays of receiving payments as well as delays or losses in the Federal Awards process including available Contracts, Solicitations, RFPs, RFQs, Grants and other Federal Co-op Funding Opportunities.

The new filing process is entirely different from what it has been in previous years. If you wish to attempt this new process without the assistance of a CRS, then you may download the 2000+ page Federal Acquisitions & Regulations Manual along with the 350+ page S.A.M. System User’s Guide. Both manuals should be utilized and referenced to properly complete this new filing process. Even if your organization had an existing CCR and/or ORCA filing in the old Legacy system, you must migrate your old filings, establish new user accounts, assign new roles, update all required fields and new codes as well as complete the new “Representations & Certifications” legal filing in the new system as the ORCA filing itself no longer exists.

For those organizations without a CRS, you will need to check back for daily updates and bulletins that will be posted for actions that need to be taken to correct the issues you will have with your organization’s filings in the new system under these new mandated procedures.

Regulatory Changes & Requirements

The new required documentation has significantly reduced the number of eligible businesses qualified to bid on government contracts as well as to receive Federal Grants and Assistance Awards. Private vendors must obtain a DUNS number, register in the SAM System (formerly known as CCR), obtain a CAGE Code, identify proper NAICS Codes, properly identify Socio-economic Set-Aside status, SIC Codes, PSC Codes, FSC Codes, obtain an MPIN as well as complete the proper Representations & Certifications (formerly known as ORCA). After an organization is properly registered and certified they will then be able to view federal solicitation details, bid on open contracts, submit requests for RFPs (Request for Proposals), RFQs (Request for Quotes), view and apply for federal grants as well as have access to additional federal databases and resources to identify and locate open Federal opportunities.

Problems or Issues with Registration/Certification

If an organization has more complex issues or problems and needs special assistance in completing / updating / filing their registration and certification, then we suggest calling the Help Desk at the number listed above for more personal attention and solution options. Issues of all types arise and payments / funding are held up due to such issues. Certified Registration Specialists at the Help Desk can help you identify the problem and provide immediate solutions to speed up the process so that time sensitive opportunities are not missed due to specific deadlines.

Federal Grants & Assistance Awards

Federal Grants, Assistance Awards and most other types of federal funding require PSEs (Private Sector Entities) to be registered with the SAM System (formerly known as CCR). This goes for private for-profit entities, not-for-profit entities as well as local and state government entities. Any time money is being transferred from the Federal Government to almost any other entity, that entity must have a profile in place with the SAM System. If an organization is applying for grants at Grants.gov, one business day after completion of their registration they will be able to register and apply for grants at Grants.gov. However, registration itself does not guarantee that a grant will be awarded, registration is simply the prerequisite in order to view and apply for federal grants. Click here to read step by step instructions regarding Federal Assistance Awards & Grants.  If you are a “Non-Profit Organization” or a “Grant Seeker” , click here to register/ renew online.

What is CCR & ORCA? (now referred to as the S.A.M. Registration and Representations & Certifications)

The Central Contractor Registration (CCR) (now referred to as the SAM Registration) database is primarily a payment database that tracks where money is going to who for what (an accountability measure). Any time money changes hands between the Federal Government and a PSE (Private Sector Entity), in most cases (under current Federal Acquisition Regulations) that private entity must be registered and certified in order to receive those funds from the Federal Government. The ORCA Certification (now referred to as an entity’s Representations & Certifications) is the legal binding document between the Federal Government and a PSE that certifies they are who they say they are, they are not misrepresenting themselves and they are not trying to defraud the government in any way. It does get very detailed on many of the questions so that the Federal Government can ensure private vendors are following all rules, regulations and laws of the United States Federal Government. By utilizing the new mandatory “Reps & Certs”, PSEs are either deemed “Certified” or “Not Certified” to conduct business with the United States Federal Government.

United States Business Registration properly facilitates the registration and certification process for PSEs (Private Sector Entities) wishing to offer a product or service to the Federal Government as well as private sector organizations wishing to apply for Federal Grants or Assistance Awards. United States Business Registration ensures PSEs are compliant by being properly registered and certified while utilizing the correct Federal resources so that all Federal Government entities can locate them, award contracts to them and actually pay them for their services or products provided.

What We Do

There are many resources available for PSEs to utilize when trying to conduct business with the United States Federal Government. The primary issue that arises is that there are too many resources spread out in multiple areas, manuals and websites. Then one must figure out what resources are best utilized and how much time to spend on those that are available. United States Business Registration was created as a resource to assist businesses of all sizes in making sure they are properly registered and certified according to their industry, business size and Set-Aside Status (Woman Owned Small Business, Minority Owned, Veteran Owned, HubZone, Disadvantaged Small Business Enterprise, etc). United States Business Registration ensures that all PSEs are utilizing the proper databases to locate and to be located for Federal Government Contracts. Private sector entities must be utilizing the correct Federal resources for their industry, business size and Set-Aside Status; as well as being placed in the proper Federal databases, utilizing the proper resources and understanding the overall process involved.

Once everything is set up properly, Federal ACOs (Administrative Contract Officers) can more easily and accurately locate businesses/organizations and the products/services that they offer to more easily and directly award open solicitations too. This simplifies the process for both parties involved. The organizations who are compliant, properly established and utilizing the correct resources are the organizations who actually receive the most Federal Awards and are the most successful in the area of Federal Acquisitions. For a one-time set-up fee, a Certified Registration Specialist is assigned to an organization to ensure the PSE has all the proper registrations and certifications in place, as well as assisting them in utilizing the proper tools to locate Federal Contracts and be located for Federal Contracts by Federal ACOs.