Tomorrow, July 24, the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system will stop accepting new or updated information while the Government transitions to the new System for Award Management (SAM).

The Government Services Administration (GSA) announced that at the end of July 2012 the long-awaited SAM would begin Phase One of its integration of eight federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. CCR, the primary registrant database for the U.S. Federal Government, is one of the procurement systems migrating to the SAM system. Presently CCR collects, confirms, stores, and shares data in support of agency acquisition programs, including Federal agency contract and grant awards.

Under the present system, federal government contractors are required to register in CCR in order to be awarded contracts or grants by the federal government. CCR validates registrant information and electronically shares this secure and encrypted data with the federal agencies’ finance offices to process payments through electronic funds transfer (EFT). CCR also shares the data with federal government procurement and electronic business systems.

The Government’s intention is that existing registrants will automatically migrate to SAM without any need for action by the contractor. The plan is to lockdown CCR on July 24 and complete the transition so that SAM is operational on July 30. However, if the existing CCR data is not current, contractors could experience difficulties in successfully migrating. To maximize their chance for a seamless migration to SAM, contractors should review their existing CCR registration data and make sure it is up to date. Any errors currently present in the CCR registration will load onto the new SAM system and could cause problems with the migration and system validation of the information transferred to SAM.

After the transition, registrations and updates will occur at the SAM website and, as part of the registration process, contractors will need to provide a DUNS number, an Employer Identification Number (EIN)/Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and a Commercial and Government Entity Code. SAM registration will require contractors to login and use a registered email address before they can successfully transfer their registration to SAM. With an expected large increase in user traffic due to the SAM migration, turnaround time for password resets could be slowed dramatically so contractors should review their logins and passwords. If a legacy CCR registrant or new SAM registrant does not currently have a DUNS or EIN/TIN, it should obtain those numbers as soon as possible because it can take as long s five weeks to obtain an EIN/TIN. Registrants will also need to provide “core data” including business type, organizational structure, certain financial information including EFT data, executive compensation, NAICS codes; size metrics, electronic data interchange information, and disaster relief information. The SAM registration will also require the registrant to complete “representations and certifications” concerning certain FAR and DFARS “responses.”

The SAM website provides helpful information but the site is limited and does not have a tool for providing automatic notification about the status of the SAM system. Therefore, registrants are advised to log-on and check the SAM site to confirm successful transition. Contractors can also check to see if they are ready for the SAM migration and can receive help with the process by contacting the Contractor Helpline at (877) 252-2700 ext. 1.