There have been significant delays in registering entities at, and that has been adversely impacting the ability of some federal contractors to respond to certain procurements/solicitations because FAR 4.1102(a) requires offerors to be registered in at the time of an offer or a proposal submission. On September 8, 2022, the Department of Defense (DOD) acknowledged the issue with and issued a class deviation permitting contracting officers to include FAR 52.204-7, Alternate I in solicitations. This Federal Acquisition Regulation effectively permits offerors to not be actively registered in SAM until 30 days after the award or three days prior to the date of its first invoice, whichever comes first. The class deviation will remain in effect through October 31, 2022, or until otherwise rescinded or extended.

FAR 52.204-7, Alternate I states, in relevant part: “An Offeror is required to be registered in SAM as soon as possible. If registration is not possible when submitting an offer or quotation, the awardee shall be registered in SAM in accordance with the requirements of clause 52.204-13, System for Award Management Maintenance.”

The class deviation states that a copy of the ticket (with the ticket number and date) showing the offeror has submitted to SAM’s Federal Service Desk will be used as the offeror’s proof of its initiation or its attempt to start the SAM registration process.

The class deviation also provides that FAR 52.204-7, Alternate I is to be included in a new solicitation if the award is expected by October 31, 2022. Contracting officers are also permitted to amend existing solicitations to include FAR 52.204-7, Alternate I. Contracting officers must provide for an alternative method of proposal submission (such as email) when using the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment solicitation module, as that module requires registration with to submit proposals.

This article summarizes aspects of the law and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice for your situation, you should contact the author of this article.

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