Effective April 27, 2018, the General Services Administration (GSA) will be requiring each entity that wants to renew or update their electronic registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) to mail-in an original, signed notarized letter that confirms the identity of the account’s authorized administrator.
This comes as a follow-up to an announcement make about two and a half weeks ago that GSA is engaged in “an active investigation into alleged third-party fraudulent activity” within SAM.
SAM is essentially the vendor database of the federal government. GSA is in the process of integrating a total of ten databases within SAM.
At present, before a new SAM entity registration is activated, the entity establishing the new record in SAM must submit an original, signed notarized letter identifying the authorized “entity administrator” who is associated with the entity’s DUNS number. With GSA’s latest announcement, the notarized letter also will be required of all existing SAM registrants who wish to update or renew their record.
The alleged breach of the SAM database was identified by GSA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), and there is ongoing concern that vendors’ financial information and points of contact could be exposed. This creates risk that grant and contract payments could be diverted.
In GSA’s first announcement of the problem, GSA advised that “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.” SAM contains bank routing information on each entity. GSA’s advice was later updated to say: “If an entity suspects a payment due them from a Federal agency was paid to a bank account other than their own, they should contact the Federal Service Desk.”
The Federal Service Desk can be contacted by phone at 866-606-8220 (toll free) or 334-206-7828 (internationally), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EDT).
The notarized letter, on company stationery, is to be mailed to the Federal Service Desk. Details for the letter appear at: https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/answer.do?sysparm_kbid=d2e67885db0d5f00b3257d321f96194b&sysparm_search=kb0013183.
Update: GSA has produced a template for the notarized letter. It is available at: SAM_Notary_Letter_Template_4.12.18_GSA_version