*Update for 11/8/19 at the bottom of the article*
If you've been keeping up with news in the federal marketplace, then you should know that FedBizOpps (aka FBO) is expected to be decommissioned in the first quarter of FY 2020 (the fourth quarter of 2019). Instead of a separate opportunity search website, it will be merged with beta.SAM.
So, as a contractor, what would you need to know about this transition?
This blog post is going to cover:
- What is beta.SAM?
- Formation of new accounts and migration
- Changes in federal terminology for contract search
- Changes with the interested vendor list
- The new federal hierarchy
Also, you can check out this live video recorded on 9/18/19 by USFCR about the oncoming transition:
What is beta.SAM?
The System for Award Management (sam.gov) is a database containing information on all entities seeking federal contracts or grants. beta.SAM is the GSA's latest effort to consolidate 10 government systems into one site. This includes:
- SAM - Database of all federal contractors.
- FBO - Opportunity search for contracts valued at $25,000 or above.
- FPDS - Collection of information on contracts previously awarded.
- CFDA - Federal assistance listings.
- WDOL - Wage determinations for each labor category.
- CPARS - Past performance information.
- FAPIIS - Database which tracks contractor performance and misconduct.
- PPRS - Merged with CPARS.
- eSRS - Subcontracting reporting.
- FFATA - Reporting system for federal prime awards to capture sub-award and executive compensation.
Some of these systems have been implemented into beta.SAM already. FedBizOpps just so happens to be the next one in line.
Making a New beta.SAM Account and Migration
The sooner you create your beta.SAM account, the better.
To simply put it, if you have a SAM registration, you can log into beta.SAM. For logging in, you will use the email address associated with your login.gov account.
Since June 2018, every vendor registered in SAM was required to create a login.gov account. If for some reason you haven't, you can use this guide to show you how to create one.
If you are new to contracting, then you might want to get help from USFCR for your SAM registration. Some of the benefits of getting registered through USFCR includes:
- Faster approval and compliance
- Backed by an insurance policy
- Ongoing support throughout major changes
- Access to a wide network of vendors for finding subcontractors or prime contractors
Changes in Federal Terminology
Along with the migration of FBO, there will be a few changes to the terms that you're familiar with. Here's a rundown of the original term in FBO and the correlated new term in beta.SAM.
"FBO Term" - "beta.SAM Term"
Buyer - Contracting Officer
Agency Admin - Administrator
Watchlist - Follow
Search Agent - Saved Search
Archived - Inactive
It's nothing too drastic, but again, this is what we know so far about the upcoming changes.
Interested Vendor List Changes
Here are a few things to consider for the interested vendor list on beta.SAM:
- During the transition, all current interested vendor lists will be transferred.
- Contractors will need an account tied to an entity in order to access the interested vendor list.
- Every interested vendor list will be tied to a notice.
- Interested vendor lists will be searchable and can be sorted.
The New Federal Hierarchy
All searches, reports, and government roles will be based on a federal hierarchy. Not much is currently known about how this hierarchy is going to be organized, but it will be used in the Advanced Search feature to help narrow down particular agencies in a federal department.
Staying on Top of Federal Changes
In federal contracting, nothing is static. Policies and practices are always changing. What doesn't change is the expertise of USFCR.
Since 2010, USFCR has been on one mission: simplifying government contracting.
From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, we've helped pave the path for many entities seeking to enter the federal marketplace. When you work with USFCR, you're working with a team that's ahead of the curve and will work to get you compliant with any new developments.
*FBO Update Nov. 8, 2019*
The transition of FBO.gov to beta.SAM is underway. FBO will only be available to use for public searches at this time. Login and data entry will be unavailable. Searches for government contracts will be only available on beta.SAM.