I have spent some time since the launch of www.SAM.gov trying to just figure it out and determine how some useful links I once had have migrated over (CCR, ORCA, etc.). The short answer I found was – they haven’t. But wait! This system is faster, stronger, newer, and will enable… you get the picture.
First things first, you want to do buisness with the federal government? You have to be registered in
CCR SAM. Easy enough… right there on the front page is a “Create an Account” link. Click that and let the fun begin. I have no reason to register at this point, but there are two options – Individual and System. You will of course be asked about all there is to know about your company (and probably things that you don’t know about your company too).
If you had an active record in CCR, you have an active record in SAM. You do not need to do anything in SAM at this time, unless a change in your business circumstances requires a change in SAM in order for you to be paid or to receive an award. SAM will send notifications to the registered user via email 60, 30, and 15 days prior to expiration of the record. You can search for registered entities in SAM by typing the DUNS number or business name into the search box.
What if I just want to find some information on a company’s registration? This left me baffled for a while since it is not readily apparent that the Search bar is for searching for anything – including contractor information.
Searching is much better in SAM – it is right there on the front page, or under the “Search Tab.” Without registering, you can still get quite a bit of information, but FOUO and Sensitive data are behind the curtain. There are plenty of filters once you start your search on a term (probably a company name) and the search box is “intelligent” in that is auto-suggests terms and names as you type. This made me smile coming from a government system. I did a quick search for “CCH” and came back with our registration information that is good through November of this year.
If you don’t pay attention, you can miss the fact that there is a bunch of information on the left side! I assumed it was a menu and found that it is actually a menu specifically related to the detailed company information I am viewing. Here you can find plenty of other information:
- Entity Overview
- Core Data
- Reps & Certs
- Exclusions (Active and Inactive)
All in all, the site impresses me – once I got used to it. It doesn’t seem to be as intuitive as I would have liked it to be from the beginning, but a few simple user guides later (under “HELP”) and I was off and running.