GSA appoints a new duo to run SAM

Casey Coleman and Mary Davie

Casey Coleman, left, and Mary Davie are now in charge of GSA's System for Award Management

After a false start on the System for Award Management in August, General Services Administration officials have shifted the management of SAM to two of the agency’s top executives, a spokeswoman said Oct. 22.

Mary Davie, acting Federal Acquisition Service commissioner, and Casey Coleman, GSA’s CIO, are now responsible to getting SAM working, said Jackeline Stewart, deputy press secretary at GSA.

“GSA will ensure that the short-term fixes and the long-term vision of creating a common acquisition platform across government rest squarely with the leadership of our acquisitions and technical experts,” Stewart said.

SAM, which is designed to integrate three acquisition data systems that store and make available information about contractors, went online in July and was taken off-line days later due to performance problems. GSA and IBM, the prime contractor in the project, say they have been working to fix the problems.

As a result, though, some agencies are pulling away from the new system. In late August, Defense Department officials started allowing its contractors to register in databases other than SAM.

The internal transition will allow the current project manager in the Office of Government-wide Policy to focus on ensuring that the Integrated Acquisition Environment meets policy and regulatory requirements from our federal partner agencies and the Office of Management and Budget.

Stewart also said Dan Tangherlini, acting GSA administrator, has called for key metrics to show SAM’s progress. The metrics are in line with Tangherlini’s top-to-bottom review of many aspects of the agency. He took the acting administrator role as GSA was caught in a conference spending scandal in April. From there, he put agency choices on spending, including conferences and senior officials’ bonuses. He has also emphasized strong performance metrics and an integrated approach inside GSA to solve complex problems.

SAM includes three Integrated Acquisition Environment systems: the Central Contractor Registration system that companies use to register certain business information before being considered for contract awards; the Online Representations and Certifications Application for submitting certifications on matters such as company size and ownership status; and the Excluded Parties List System, which is a record of the companies suspended or debarred from federal work.


About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Mon, Dec 10, 2012

This new system is hard to use. Is there someone that can do this for me? I called the Help Desk what a joke they left me on hold for over 45min then sent me to a supervisor for help and the call dropped. I called back and it just rings now. I give up!

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 No Sam

They should have left EPLS alone. GSA knows nothing about EPLS, let alone try and mix it with three other systems. Disaster with a D. 74.5 million dollar contract got us this? Where can we get a refund???

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 DC Fed Wash D.C.

Just noticed this story. The agency CIO community's blood should be boiling over this. Excuse me, but given the titles of this dual, were they not already responsible for SAM? SAM is one of GSA's more pervasive undertakings that impacts all of the federal agencies involved in contracts, acquisitions, Grant making, etc.. It should have assigned the "A" team right from the begining. This duo was derelict in their duties with respect to this program and carefull consideration should have been given to removing them from their posts for all of the grief this major item in their portfolio has inflicted upon agencies, businesses and recipients of federal assistance. Is publicly telling the people who were supposed to be paying attention "please pay attention" the best the GSA Adminsitrator can do? Pathetic!

Wed, Oct 24, 2012

SAM should just stand for Start Adjusting Management for GSA and the contracts will be taken care of. When you can not even keep contractors on the job for buildings that are falliing down, what part of SAM is not working. In working with the Fort Worth and Lubbock GSA administrators they are just a joke around any of our offices especially when they can not keep contractors on the job for there lack of knowledge and skills, and also the cost of what it takes to keep old buildings operating. If we did away with GSA we would save millions maybe even trillions with in time.

Tue, Oct 23, 2012

I am skeptical regarding the wording "shifted the management". Mary Davies is already the GSA acqusition official responsible for all acquisition programs and processes. This is like saying to an executive, "Look you are not doing the job very well so will you please look closer". And that may well be the Administrator's intent.

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