USFCR Academy Live: The History of the System for Award Management

Feb 3, 2020 12:13:34 PM / by Anna Rose

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The System for Award Management, commonly referred to as "SAM," was implemented in July 2012. SAM is an online system that helps both government and non-government entities manage their federal awards. 

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An award any financial transaction made between the federal government and an entity. These entities can be businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, state/local governments, or any other legal body that is eligible for federal funding. 

Entities that register in SAM will be assigned a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code. This code is tied to the entity's banking information, providing the government a streamlined method for payment on federal contracts. 

To make sure that the information on the SAM registration stays relevant, SAM registrations must be updated on a yearly basis in order to maintain an active status. If an entity does not update their SAM registration it will expire and they will no longer be eligible for federal awards. 

Did You Know? 

The SAM registration is a culmination of multiple decommissioned federal sites. The General Services Administration (GSA) combined the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Online Representations & Certifications (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) to create the SAM database. is going through another change at this time as it moves into its next phase,, which will combine ten current federal sites into one. 

Information for SAM

In order to register in SAM, the entity must gather the following information: 

  1. A Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number
  2. Legal business name 
  3. Have a physical address 
  4.  Obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and taxpayer name 
  5. Have a U.S. bank account and routing number to set up Electronic Funds Transfer (ETF)

Back to Basics 

A CAGE code is a unique identifier assigned by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to government suppliers. This code is permanent. Even if your SAM registration expires, you will have the same CAGE code. If you have multiple business locations, each location will need a SAM registration and CAGE code. 

Tags: System for Award Management (SAM), USFCR Academy

Anna Rose

Written by Anna Rose

Anna is a USFCR Training Coordinator and the host of the USFCR Academy. She has worked with thousands of businesses to help them get into and succeed in federal government contracting.

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