GSA appoints a new duo to run SAM

GSA has given control of its troubled contractor registration system to two top officials.

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.

 

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