Is it Beta, Old, or New SAM?

Over time, GSA is transitioning reporting tools to beta.SAM, while the original SAM.gov remains live. Although the final site will also be called SAM.gov, it will be much different than the current one. When the full functionality of the new SAM.gov is moved over to beta.SAM, the latter will lose the “beta” prefix and the old SAM.gov will simultaneously be retired. Confused yet? (Nextgov September 11, 2020)

According to Judith Zawasky, assistant commissioner for the office of systems management in the Federal Acquisition Service (and former EZGSA employee!), “the new site is on track to lose its “beta” designation in 2021.” Zawasky is trying to ensure that remaining transition areas and training are smooth. The soft launch is expected to be finished by 17 October, and after that date, users will no longer be able to run reports on the FPDS.gov site. Searches will remain part of the site for a slightly extended period.¬†Zawastsky noted that what remains of the transition to the new SAM.gov may not be completed before 2025. (ibid)

The final SAM.gov site will include FBO, under Contract Opportunities; FPDS, under Data Bank; the original SAM.gov; the grants site Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, CFDA; Wage Determinations Online, WDOL; Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System, eSRS; the past performance databases, the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System, FAPIIS, Contractor Performance Assessment Reports System, CPARS, and Past Performance Information Retrieval System, PPIRS; and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, FFATA. (ibid)

Can’t find what you are looking for on any site? Give us a call, we can help.

SubK Silver Lining

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is extending the time for contractors to file Individual Subcontracting Reports (ISR) by 30 days and Summary Subcontracting Reports (SSR) by 60 days. (Small Business Administration Extension Notice, August 27, 2020)

SBA reasoned that, due to the pandemic and social distancing requirements in a number of states including the District of Columbia, many records remain unattainable. Without proper records, contractors are not able to meet reporting requirements.  New deadlines for ISRs is 30 November 2020 and for SSRs is 30 December 2020. SBA is also extending the deadline to 30 November for vendors who have recently completed contracts or will complete contracts before 30 September. No financial or liability consequences will be imposed on contractors for taking advantage of the updated deadlines.

The extension notice is being sent to those on the SBPAC list as well as all government and business personnel with a valid email in eSRS. (ibid)

Not sure if the extension notice applies to you? Give us a call.

Seeing STARS

The 8(a) STARS II contract has roughly 800 small business contractors that furnish custom IT services-based solutions tailored to meet government agency needs. STARS III contract will soon replace the current STARS II contract, with a higher dollar threshold and customized IT solutions. (Federal Computer Week, August 21, 2020)

Over the life of 8(a) STARS II, GSA has repeatedly raised the ceiling to meet federal agency needs and to support their small business contracting objectives. In April of this year the contract reached a $15 billion ceiling and by the end of July is was at $22 billion. In an effort to meet growing government agency needs, the 8(a) STARS III contract will accommodate more bidders with a $50 billion ceiling. 8(a) STARS III focuses on new technologies as well as meeting the needs of federal agencies outside the continental U.S.

According to Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Counsel, “rules have changed a lot over the years, the current contract vehicle, dating back to 2011 is kind of clunky and not as nimble as newer contracts. The new contract will help GSA fine new technology companies as well as requalify existing companies.” (ibid)

Questions about the 8(a) STARS III contract and if you currently do business under 8(a) STARS II how you will requalify? Give us a call.

Update Update Update!

On 17 October 2020, the contract data reports function in FPDS.gov will retire. The reports function is moving to beta.SAM.gov. GSA highly recommends that all users become familiar with contract data reports in beta.SAM.gov as the move on 17 October is permanent. (GSA Interact, August 3, 2020)

Currently, reports are available in both places in an effort to ease into the change. GSA suggests that new users acclimate themselves through the following user guides and video:

  • Static Reports Reference Guide
  • Standard Reports Reference Guide
  • Ad Hoc Reports Reference Guide
  • Standard, Static, and Admin Reports Video Basic Ad Hoc Reports Video

Experienced users may find these resources helpful:

  • Contract Data Reports Before and After Transition from FPDS.gov to beta.SAM.gov
  • Quick Start Guide for Static, Standard, and Administrative Reports
  • Quick Start Guide for Ad Hoc Reports (ibid)

Feedback will be used to determine time frames and functionality, giving stakeholders a voice in beta.SAM.gov outcomes. One example is the search capability to assist in finding more applicable search results. Multiple words or phrases may be searched and beta.SAM.gov will prioritize the search by relevance. Use the feedback button in beta.SAM.gov to give GSA your thoughts on the reports function. (ibid)

Have questions about the new functionality of beta.SAM.gov? Give us a call.

Practical Applications on the Chinese Tech Ban

On 23 July, the Defense Department released a memo explaining requirements for companies and contractors when the ban of telecommunications equipment made by Huawei and other China-based companies goes into effect. (Federal Computer Week, July 27, 2020)

Beginning 13 August, no contracts will be issued or extended to contractors using technologies or services and equipment made by Hikvision, ZTE or those listed in section 889(a)(1)(B) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. Any contract, task/delivery order, and off-the-shelf items purchased after 13 August must include language invoking regulation for the ban. Additionally, indefinite delivery contracts are required to be modified. (ibid)

There is a waiver process, however, pursuable by agencies. According to Alan Dhvotkin PSC executive vice president and counsel, the waiver “will most likely begin with issues identified by the telecommunications provider to its federal agency customer. The federal agency then asks for an ODNI review, which will conduct a risk assessment.” A granted waiver lasts two years and may be requested at any time. (Federal Computer Week, July 22, 2020)

Have questions or need a waiver? Give us a call.