The System for Award Management (SAM.gov) will undergo another tectonic shift in the near future. We’ve known for a while that the General Services Administration (GSA), the administrative agency administering SAM.gov, intended to move away from its reliance on Dun & Bradstreet’s proprietary unique entity identifier, the DUNS number, as the sole mechanism for validating entities wishing to do business with the federal government. The DUNS number historically allowed the government to know with whom it was doing business.
Congress and good-government advocates have long criticized the GSA, arguing that the exclusive use of the DUNS number led to an inherent lack of transparency, and locked the government into future contracting with the sole source and owner of the proprietary data – Dun & Bradstreet.
In fall 2018, GSA released a competitive solicitation for assistance in creating a new, government-owned, unique entity identifier: SAM Managed Identifier (SAMMI). The solicitation sought a contractor who could validate company identity and information. Most importantly, the solicitation required that the government would own the data.
Last week, the GSA announced that it awarded the five-year contract to Ernst & Young (EY). SAMMI will soon be the primary key for all existing and newly registered entities in SAM.gov, while the DUNS number will be phased out. The transition period is expected to take through FY 2020.
With the award only recently announced, there is still the possibility that Dun & Bradstreet (or others) could protest this award. However, the fact remains there will be a SAMMI number in all our futures. As of this writing, GSA has not announced a timeline for the migration. For the time being, new SAM.gov registrations will still require a DUNS number.
We recommend informing whoever is responsible for your SAM.gov registration to keep an eye out for notifications about SAMMI from the Federal Service Desk and SAM.gov.