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Daily Archives: May 24, 2012

There is updated information regarding the new System for Award Management (SAM). The General Services Administration (GSA) is moving the implementation date from May 29, 2012 to the end of July 2012. The additional sixty days will allow federal agencies to continue preparing their staff, give agencies and commercial system providers even more time to test their data transfer connections, and will ensure SAM contains the critical, documented capabilities users need from the system.

This first phase of SAM will include the capabilities of Central Contractor Registration (CCR)/Federal Agency Registration (FedReg), Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS). In preparation for the launch, GSA conducted extensive testing internally and in coordination with federal agencies using the data from these systems in their own contracting, grants, finance, and other departments. The testing was very valuable and will focus the efforts of the next sixty days.

SAM will reduce the burden on those seeking to do business with the government. Vendors will be able to log into one system to manage their entity information in one record, with one expiration date, through one streamlined business process. Federal agencies will be able to look in one place for entity pre-award information. Everyone will have fewer passwords to remember and see the benefits of data reuse as information is entered into SAM once and reused throughout the system.

Please see http://www.sam.gov for more information about the system.

The Open Ratings Report is a summary of a survey of the company’s customers conducted by Dunn and Bradstreet. The Open Ratings Report is part of the application process for a GSA schedule. GSA requires this survey from a minium of 4 to maxium of 20 customer references. The results of the Open Ratings survey indicate where the company’s overall performance falls in comparison to related industry groups. The report provides a breakdown of survey responses rated on a 0-10 scale for each question. A customer reference is  a person or company that has purchased products or services from the company. Vendor references are excluded from the survey. Dunn and Bradstreet sends a questionaire to the company referencesasking them to rate the company’s past performance. The survey covers overall performance, reliabilirt, cost, order accuracy, delivery/timeless, quality, business relations, personnel, customer support and responsiveness. GSA will only select the companies with a score of 9.0 and above.

The Open Rating Report should be part of the company’s marketing tool box. Depending on the score, the company should let all customer prospects see the report. Federal contracting officers are very interested in a company’s past performance and the the Open Ratings Report provides a snap shot. Companies interested in doing business with government should consider using this Dunn and Bradshreet tool regardless of applying for the GSA schedule.

Click here to download a sample Open Ratings report.