Government contractors must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) and complete required representations and certifications annually.
FAR 52.204-7 requires bidders, with some limited exceptions, to be registered in SAM at the time of bid and to continue to be registered until time of award, during performance, and through final payment.
Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) addressed the issue of whether a bidder’s failure to have an active registration in SAM at time of bid renders the bid nonresponsive and ineligible for award in Master Pavement Line Corp., B-419111 (Dec. 16, 2020).
GAO concluded that SAM registration is a matter of responsibility, not bid responsiveness.
In that case, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued an Invitation for Bids (IFB) for the repair of signs and guiderails, as well as other safety repairs. The IFB included a checklist for bid submission that advised that bidders had to be registered in SAM prior to contract award. Master Pavement submitted a timely bid and was the apparent low bidder.
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