What You Need to Know
- Key takeaway #1Register and renew/update early. Although we generally are seeing smoother registration processing recently, issues and delays remain. We advise clients to begin new registrations—and updates and renewals to existing registrations—as early as possible to get ahead of potential delays (e.g., with entity validation).
- Key takeaway #2When in doubt, reach out. Our team is experienced in navigating SAM registration issues and can provide support at every juncture. Please do not hesitate to reach out.
Federal contractors must be registered on SAM.gov to be eligible for award of federal contracts. Failure to do so can have significant consequences, as the recent U.S. Court of Federal Claims (CFC) decision in Myriddian, LLC v. United States, No. 23-443 makes clear.
In Myriddian, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded a five-year, $11 million contract to Cloud Harbor Economics, LLC (Cloud) for coding support services. Myriddian, an unsuccessful offeror, protested at the CFC, arguing Cloud was ineligible for award under FAR 52.204-7, which provides that an offeror must “be registered in SAM when submitting an offer or quotation, and shall continue to be registered until time of award.” Although Cloud was registered in SAM at the time of proposal submission and at the time of contract award, Cloud’s registration had lapsed for three weeks during the proposal evaluation period. The CFC sustained the protest, holding that FAR 52.204-7 unambiguously requires a contractor to maintain its SAM registration throughout the entire proposal and evaluation process, and that an agency lacks the authority to waive that requirement. Because Cloud failed to “continue to be registered until time of award,” the CFC found Cloud ineligible for award and enjoined CMS from proceeding with the contract.
Myriddian comes on the heels of the CFC’s recent decision in Thalle/Nicholson Joint Venture v. United States, No. 22-755, upholding an agency’s elimination of a joint venture from competition where each of the joint venture members was individually registered in SAM at the time of proposal submission, but the joint venture itself was not. These cases stand as cautionary tales reminding offerors to ensure active SAM registration at all times throughout the proposal process and not to wait until the last minute—especially given processing delays that contractors continue to experience with SAM registrations.
For further information, please contact:
Robert J. Sneckenberg, Partner, Crowell & Moring