Federal Government


On this section you will find various topics related to selling to the federal government including:

  • Getting Started
  • How the Government Buys
  • Small Business Programs – Certifications
  • Locating Opportunities
  • Responding to Opportunities
  • Regulations
  • Subcontracting Opportunities
  • Sales and Marketing

Use the buttons on the left of this page to navigate the different topics.

Beta.SAM.gov Transition

The General Service Administration’s (GSA) Office of the Integrated Award Environment (IAE) manages federal procurement and awards processes in ten online systems.  The Office of the IAE is in the process of merging these ten “legacy” sites into one system—the System for Award Management (SAM).  These systems include:

CFDA.gov (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance) – legacy site decommission

SAM.gov (System for Award Management) – transition in progress

FBO.gov (Federal Business Opportunities) – legacy site decommission

FPDS-NG.gov (Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation) – transition in progress

WDOL.gov (Wage Determinations OnLine) – legacy site decommission

eSRS.gov (Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System) – future transition

FAPIIS.gov (Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System) – future transition

FSRS.gov (Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Subaward Reporting System) – future transition

CPARS.gov (Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System) – future transition

PPIRS.gov (Past Performance Information Retrieval System) – legacy site decommission


GSA has announced that on April 26, 2021, the functionalities of the current SAM.gov will be integrated into the modernized beta.SAM.gov environment. Once integrated, the environment will be renamed SAM.gov and the term beta will be retired.


Beta.SAM.gov Available Reports

Beta.SAM.gov has a number of reports available for businesses to review. Current ones include the Top 100 Contractors Reports for Fiscal Year 2019, Agency Small Business Goals for Fiscal Year 2018, and various national disasters including COVID-19 Report, Hurricane Dorian, Michael, Florence and Harvey.

What’s new in Federal Contracting?

“The Federal Government is Still Open for Business.”

On 11/30/20, GSA will be updating the SAM mail server to require TLS 1.2 or higher.  This is a behind-the-scenes update, meaning that your access to SAM.gov via browser or web service client will not be affected at all.  Since the SAM mail server will require TLS 1.2, if you utilize email on aging or insecure mail servers will no longer receive SAM email alerts once these changes are in place.  You will still be able to communicate with SAM via browser and conduct business, but emails such as Entity expiration notifications or role notifications will no longer arrive at your mailbox.

This requirement should be seamless to most users, particularly if you use popular Cloud hosted mail services such as Gmail or Hotmail.

To ensure that your system is compliant with the TLS changes, please do the following self-test:

  1. Go to https://www.checktls.com/TestReceiver
  2. In the Input Fields section, enter your email address as the eMail Target and select “SSLDetail” as the Output Format. Click the Run Test button to run the scan.
  3. When the results return, scan for the following line “SSLVersion in use:” in the results. Observe the TLS / SSL version, if any to see the highest version of TLS that your mail server is configured for.

You may also reach out to your mail provider or security officer verify the security settings of your mail system.  If your system already supports TLS 1.2/1.3, no further changes are necessary.  If your mail system only supports TLS 1.1 or lower, you will no longer receive notification emails from SAM once these changes are in place.  Once your mail system is updated to TLS 1.3, regular email notifications with SAM will resume.  If your system only supports TLS 1.1 or lower and you have any additional questions, please reach out to the Federal Service Desk (https://www.fsd.gov/).

The Defense Department will soon release a new guide to help engineers and the acquisition community as they pursue new capabilities for the military. The initiative comes as the Pentagon is trying to implement the 2018 National Defense Strategy and engage in great power competition with China and Russia. LEARN MORE

As of Nov. 30, 2020, contractors will use DocuSign to digitally sign documents in eOffer and eMod. This change to DocuSign aligns with GSA’s overall IT modernization efforts to support security and provide a solution that is legally recognized internationally. LEARN MORE

From Department of Defense Improving Compliance with Buy American Laws memo https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/USA002277-20-DPC.pdf

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed federal agencies to finalize their transition to using the SAM-generated unique entity identifier (unique entity ID or UEI) by April 2022. GSA will be contracting with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) to ensure full continuity of services—including DUNS number assignment, monitoring, and validation of entity uniqueness—during the extended transition period. LEARN MORE

CONTRACT DATA REPORTS NOW OFFICIAL AT beta.SAM.govGSA, General Services Administration sent this bulletin at 10/17/2020 02:49 PM EDT

Today, the IAE is pleased to announce that the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) reports module has successfully migrated to beta.SAM.gov. From now on, beta.SAM.gov is the only place to create and run static, standard, administrative, and ad hoc contract data reports. LEARN MORE

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has revamped the Employment Referral Resource Directory (ERRD). The ERRD lists government and nonprofit organizations as references to assist federal contractors’ hiring of qualified applicants. ERRD was developed as a compliance assistance tool to help federal contractors identify local job referral services for veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and minority groups. LEARN MORE

The MAS PMO and National Industrial Operations Analyst (IOA) Program are excited to announce that the MAS Contractor Assessment (CA) Reference Guide is now available for download at the Vendor Support Center. This reference guide provides a foundational, transparent understanding of the MAS CA process for our industry partners. CAs are conducted regularly by GSA’s IOAs and verify contractors are complying with their contractual terms and conditions and have the support necessary to be successful. READ MORE

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s top acquisition official says the military is doubling down on efforts to move microelectronics manufacturing away from China, citing worries about the security of supply chains.

A full 75% of microelectronics manufacturing and 98% of packaging takes place in Asia, acquisition boss Ellen Lord said at the ComDef conference today.

“While the U.S. continues to serve as the leader in microelectronics research and development,” Lord said, “our lack of ability to manufacture, package and test, has resulted in the loss of employment opportunities, economic growth and the lack of ability to fulfill DoD requirements.” LINK

From GSA Interact For MAS Schedule holders – Happy FY 2021 from the MAS PMO! We worked through some unprecedented situations in FY 2020 – grateful for all of your engagement and continued participation in our MAS Consolidation efforts. Important information and deadlines contractors should be aware of READ HERE.

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Assessing Contractor Implementation of Cybersecurity Requirements (DFARS Case 2019-D041)

A Rule by the Defense Acquisition Regulations System on 09/29/2020 – DoD is issuing an interim rule to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a DoD Assessment Methodology and  Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification framework in order to assess contractor implementation of cybersecurity requirements and enhance the protection of unclassified information within the DoD supply chain. This rule adds a new DFARS subpart, Subpart 204.75, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), to specify the policy and procedures for awarding a contract, or exercising an option on a contract, that includes the requirement for a CMMC certification. Specifically, this subpart directs contracting officers to verify in SPRS that the apparently successful offeror’s or contractor’s CMMC certification is current and meets the required level prior to making the award. Dates: Effective November 30, 2020. DOCUMENT

New GSA FAS ID Contractor Login Coming to eBuy on October 10th
On Saturday, October 10, 2020, the eBuy contractor login is moving to a two-step, multi-factor authentication (MFA) process using GSA FAS ID – a secure, centralized identity management system that lets contractors access many GSA applications with one email and password. LEARN MORE

Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities and Cross-cutting Actions

The National Institute for Standards and Technology released the draft of NIST Special Publication 800-172 (“NIST SP 800-172”) on July 6, 2020. This draft special publication succeeds the prior draft NIST SP 800-171B that NIST published in June 2019, and operates as a supplement to the NIST SP 800-171 controls that federal contractors generally must comply with in order to transmit, process, and store Controlled Unclassified Information (“CUI”). [August 2020]

The National Security Agency released a Limiting Location Data Exposure Cybersecurity Information Sheet (CSI) today to guide National Security System (NSS) and Department of Defense (DoD) mobile device users on how they might reduce risk associated with sharing sensitive location data. The guide summarizes how and why mobile devices expose location data and explains potential risk that comes with using them. It provides mitigations to limit the sharing of this information, but warns there is no solution to fully mitigate a mobile device from being located. [August 2020]

Multi-Factor Authentication Replaces Digital Certification and PIN Requirements for Signing Mass Mods on Aug. 8, 2020. Attention contract holders! Updates to GSA’s IT infrastructure mean changes to the way you access our Mass Mod Portal.

DoD, GSA, and NASA issued an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement section 889(a)(1)(B) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 (Pub. L. 115-232). Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2020-08 published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2020. 

Implementation of the Section 889(a)(1)(B) Prohibition on Contracting with Entities Using Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment. The purpose of this memorandum is to facilitate implementation of interim FAR rule 2019-009, published on July 14, 2020, and effective on August 13, 2020.

As of July 15, 2020, the certification process for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) has changed. SBA has implemented Congress’ changes to the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program (WOSB Federal Contracting Program), as put forth in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These updated regulations make it easier for qualified small businesses to participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program by improving the customer experience. At the same time, SBA is strengthening oversight and maintaining the integrity of the certification process. Updates on US SBA website Need help? – contact Kim Garber at WPI KimG@wispro.org.

Copy of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Ver. 1.02 (March 18, 2020)

Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Small Business Program Contacts (September, 2018)

Recently published Defense Security Service Small Business Guide Facility Clearance Process. (July 2018)

Did you miss the DLA TKO sessions and want to view presentation? – Information on how to access Defense Logistic Agency training presentations.

Information about the beta.SAM.gov modernization for viewing, printing, and downloading purposes. – Update on SAM integration


Contracting with FEMA after a Disaster

FACT Sheet for Doing Business with FEMA After a Disaster

SAM Waiver for Emergency Purchases per FAR 4.1102(a)(3)(iii) and part 18.102:

For some emergency purchases, a business need not be registered in SAM.  If this is the case, you may bypass SAM registration, but you still need a CAGE Code.  Directions on obtaining a CAGE Code without SAM registrations are below:

  1. Go to https://cage.dla.mil
  2. Choose ‘Request or Update a CAGE Code’ and hit Begin on the next page.

The user will then be taken through a series of pages where they provide the data necessary to set up a CAGE code, but before they get to those elements, they have to answer a few more questions.  In order for the CAGE website not to just direct them to go register in SAM, the users need to answer exactly as follows:

  1. Question – Do you have a registration for this same entity in process at System for Award Management (SAM)? Answer – No
  2. Question – Do you plan to receive contract payments or grants from the U.S. Government? Answer – No
  3. Question – Are you a NON-U.S. entity (government or commercial)? Answer – No (note – if the entity really is foreign, answer Yes, but realize that the user will be directed to contact his/her home country codification bureau)
  4. Question – Are you requesting a new CAGE Code? Answer – Yes
  5. Question – Do you have a previous business? Answer – No
  6. Question – Please choose your Entity Type. Answer either – (1) U.S. Commercial Company/Firm, Organization or Government Entity (non-federal) OR (2) Sole Proprietor Business (most likely this one)
  7. Question – Please choose a Primary Purpose for this CAGE. Answer – Other
  8. Question – Please describe the primary purpose for this CAGE. Answer – Provide Urgent Hurricane Irma Support (or Harvey or Jose as appropriate)

Be aware – when a user requests a CAGE code be established via this method (instead of through registering in SAM), it goes into manual processing at DLA in Battle Creek.  It’s very important that the user enter ‘hurricane’ in the purpose field after they choose other.  The CAGE team is going to search for that term in each request that comes in and move those to the top to be worked.