System for Award Management (SAM) New Security Measures
SAM Fraudulent Activity - Background
GSA implemented a new security measure in the System for Award Management (SAM)
Alleged Fraudulent Activity in SAM - March 22, 2018
GSA’s System for Award Management (SAM) is supporting an active investigation by the GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) into alleged, third party fraudulent activity in SAM. At this time, only a limited number of entities registered in SAM are suspected of being impacted by this fraudulent activity.
GSA has already taken proactive steps to address this issue and has notified affected entities. GSA will continue to work with the OIG and law enforcement agencies to take additional action as appropriate.
Please note, these proactive steps include requiring an original, signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number before a new SAM.gov entity registration will be activated.
What is GSA doing to address the problem?
GSA’s SAM team is supporting GSA’s OIG in an active investigation into alleged third-party fraudulent activity related to SAM. GSA has taken a number of proactive steps to address this issue and is in the process of making system modifications to prevent improper activity going forward. In the interim, GSA expired, then deactivated any entity registrations that appeared to have been affected. These entities are being advised to validate their registration information in SAM, particularly their financial information and points of contact. Further, GSA has begun implementing additional reviews during the registration process to prevent more issues, as described below.
Who is impacted?
Entities who may have been impacted (those entities whose financial information has changed within the last year) are in the process of being notified and are advised to validate their registration information, particularly their financial information. This notification process began on March 22, 2018.
What is an entity?
In SAM, you, your company, business, or organization is referred to as an “entity.” Individuals register themselves or their entity to do business with the U.S. Federal Government by completing the registration process in SAM.
What should entities registered in SAM do to protect themselves and confirm that their bank account information has not been changed?
Entities registered in SAM are advised to log into SAM and review their registration information, particularly their financial information. Contact the supporting Federal Service Desk at www.fsd.gov, or by telephone at 866-606-8220 (toll free) or 334-206-7828 (internationally), for FREE assistance. Entities are responsible for ensuring that their information is current and correct in SAM in accordance with paragraph (b) of FAR clause 52.232-33, and should routinely review such information for accuracy.
Who should entities contact if they find that payments due them from Federal agencies have been paid to a bank account that other than their own?
Entities should contact their Federal agency awarding official if they find that payments, which were due their entity from a Federal agency, have been paid to a bank account other than the entity’s bank account.
What interim changes have been made to the SAM registration process?
The proactive steps taken by SAM to address this fraudulent activity include requiring an original, signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number before a new SAM.gov entity registration will be activated.
SAM Fraudulent Activity - Registering
Entity SAM Registration is Current:
If your registration is current then you should not be impacted by the requirement to provide a notarized letter. However, there could be a need to provide the notarized letter if after completing your update and you receive a letter from GSA telling you to submit one or to contact the GSA Federal Service Desk at 866-606-8220 to verify you entity information and status.
Entity SAM Registration is Inactive and Older than 2005:
If your registration is inactive and older than 2005, then you will have to submit a notarized letter to have your registration activated. You will attempt to update your registration and then if you need to provided a notarized letter, you should receive a notification that it is required. You will need to contact the GSA Federal Service Desk at 866-606-8220 to receive additional guidance on if a notarized letter has to be mailed in or emailed.
Entity SAM Registration is New:
If your registering a new entity, you will be impacted by the requirement to provide a notarized letter. After you complete your registration you should receive a notification email from GSA giving you information on how the notarized letter is to be submitted. You should contact the GSA Federal Service Desk at 866-606-8220 to verify you entity information and status.
Notarized Letter Format for SAM Registration:
When you register a new entity in the System for Award Management (SAM) at www.sam.gov to do business with the U.S. Government, we require a notarized letter stating you are the authorized Entity Administrator before we will activate your SAM.gov entity registration.
1. This notarized letter needs to:
Be on your company/organization letterhead
Be signed by your company President, CEO, or other authorized signature authority
Contain your company/organization DUNS Number
Contain your company/organization Legal Business Name (as associated with the DUNS Number)
Contain your company/organization physical address (as associated with the DUNS Number)
Contain the new Entity Administrator’s name, phone number, address, and email address
Contain the following statement above the signature block of your letter with the appropriate information inserted where noted:
“The purpose of this notarized letter is to designate [insert name of Entity Administrator] as Entity Administrator for [insert Legal Business Name]. I, [insert Name and Title of signatory], hereby confirm that [insert name of Entity Administrator] is an authorized officer, agent, or representative of [insert entity Legal Business Name, or, for individuals representing themselves, say him/herself]. This letter will authorize [insert name of Entity Administrator] to have access to the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM is a computer system managed by the U.S. Government, and it is only accessible by individuals who are either authorized to represent a particular entity, or by individuals representing themselves. Accessing or using SAM, or information contained therein, for any unauthorized or illegal purposes, may have civil and criminal penalties, and may negatively impact the status of the SAM registration maintained on this entity. I, the below-signed, attest to the accuracy of all information contained in this letter.”
2. There is no cost to register in SAM -- it is free. However, if you choose to have a third-party company administer your SAM registration, with or without an associated fee, include the following statement in your notarized letter:
“For the purpose of registering with the United States Government through the online System for Award Management (SAM), I do hereby authorize [insert name, phone number, address, and email address of the Third-Party Agent] to act on behalf of [insert entity Legal Business Name, DUNS Number, physical address, authorizing party’s email address, and phone number]. This authorization permits [insert name, phone number, address, and email address of the Third-Party Agent] to conduct all normal, common business functions within SAM while binding the signatory to all actions conducted and representations made as a result of authorization granted herein.
3. If you will not have a third-party company managing your SAM registration, include the following statement in your notarized letter:
“For the purpose of registering with the United States Government through the online System for Award Management (SAM), I do not authorize any third party to act on behalf of [insert entity Legal Business Name].”
4. Letters omitting either the third-party authorization referenced in Step 2 or the statement referenced in Step 3 will be considered unacceptable.
5. The new Entity Administrator must have an individual SAM User Account created with the e-mail address provided in the notarized letter.
6. You must mail the original letter signed by the Notary to:
FEDERAL SERVICE DESK ATTN: SAM.GOV REGISTRATION PROCESSING 100 CAPITOL COMMERCE BLVD STE 309 MONTGOMERY, AL 36117-4260
7. SAM will review your letter prior to activating the SAM registration.