Life after DUNS

If you have done any work, within the past 60 years with the Federal Government, then you have probably heard of the Data Universal Number System or DUNS. It is the data format that identifies organizations doing business with the government.

GSA, who administers the program, awarded a new contract in 2018 to Ernst & Young to dispense new organization identifiers. The new Unique Entity IDs (UEIs) will replace the current DUNS numbers. Ernst & Young will also manage the transition. (Nextgov October 13, 2021)

GSA is working with agencies to test the old and the new numbers prior to the final cutover, planned for April 2022. However, before the switch from DUNS numbers to UEIs takes place, GSA through the Integrated Award Environment program would like to work with some testers to ensure smooth sailing before the final cutover. (ibid)

According to Interact.gov, “volunteers get scripts which walk through various Unique Entity ID (SAM.gov) functions, such as requesting and receiving a Unique Entity ID (SAM.gov) or how to deal with error scenarios. Each test script takes about 20 minutes or less. You test at your own pace and send us your feedback.” This is extremely necessary because the DUNS is a nine-number string and the UEI is a 12-digit alphanumeric code. (ibid)

The program office recently released new help resources through the Federal Service Desk under a dropdown option under FAQ. It is also accessible through a large green button icon on the fsd.gov homepage. (ibid)

This large-scale modernization touches every single entity that does business with the federal government. GSA is hopeful their call for superusers will enable a smooth transition.

Questions about the UEI and how you might get ahead of the curve and get yours? Give us a call.

 

 

Dun(s) Dun Dun Dun … No More

After almost 60 years of utilizing a DUNs number, every organization doing business with the government will receive a new identification number. Beginning in December 2020, the number and the process to acquire the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) will change. The new identifier will be generated through SAM.gov; however, DUNS numbers will be retained for historical purposes and Dunn & Bradstreet open data limitations remain in effect in perpetuity.

GSA is moving to a new, non-proprietary identifier, a 12 character alpha-numeric value, will be assigned by the System for Award Management. The Federal Register announced the new (UEI), including the identifier standards. Additional updates to the UEI can be found here: gsa.gov/entityid. (GSA.gov Unique Entity Identifier Update, September 9, 2019)

As you can imagine, many questions surround the upcoming change, and GSA’s recent online meeting answered some of them. Those that missed the meeting or want to listen again can find the presentation at beta.SAM.gov  and selecting the UEI video link. All questions submitted and answers provided are also available on this downloadable pdf.

The transition phase began in July of 2019, but DUNS will continue as the official identifier until December 2020. During the transition, all existing entity registrations will automatically be assigned a new UEI which will be displayed in SAM.gov and no one will be required to re-enter this data. (ibid)

Thinking this small change can lead to a lot of confusion? Have some questions that didn’t get asked or answered during the GSA public meeting? Give us a call.

DUNS is done!

For roughly 57 years, DUNS numbers, created by Dun & Bradstreet, have been the official entity verification for government contractors and private industry.  It was indexed in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in 1998. GSA, the administrator of the program, issued an RFP in 2019, to replace DUNS. Ernst & Young was awarded the new contract, this past March. (Nextgov, July 2019)

What does this all mean? For starters, Ernst & Young will be responsible for administering a new “Unique Entity ID” as well as managing the transition from DUNS. Every organization, including vendors, grantees, and coops doing business with federal agencies will have a new, 12 character identifier, 3 characters longer than the current DUNS number. The Unique Entity ID  is a mix of numbers and letters following a specific set pattern.

A new process is also effective with the updated verification number. Organizations will request a Unique Entity ID when registering with SAM.gov, instead of  applying through a vendor such as Dun & Bradstreet.  To assist with the transition, GSA has released the Unique Entity ID Standard, set up a virtual meeting for July 25, and created a webpage dedicated to the transition for those who would like to know more. (ibid)

The Unique Entity ID is structured to avoid confusion with the old numbers, tax ID numbers and Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) codes. All systems using the current 9 digit format will require an update to use the longer Unique Entity ID number. (ibid)

Questions about the new Unique Entity ID? Wondering what to do with your old DUNS and how it affects your current contract or one you are bidding on now? Give us a call and we can explain.