RGCI - SAM Registrations Check Often and NEVER Let It Lapse!

In the world of federal contracting, every detail matters. A recent ruling by the Court of Federal Claims (CFC) has highlighted the critical importance of maintaining an active registration in the SAM.GOV System. Based on the interpretation of FAR Clause 52.204-7, this ruling underscores the fact that even a minor lapse in a contractor's SAM registration status can lead to disqualification from a potential award.

The Case in Focus: Myriddian, LLC v. United States

Case Number: COFC No. 23-44 Read the full case here

FAR Clause 52.204-7 (b)(1) Explained: The clause states, "An Offeror is required to be registered in SAM when submitting an offer or quotation and shall continue to be registered until the time of award, during performance, and through the final payment of any contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchasing agreement resulting from this solicitation."

A Deep Dive into the Background

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had awarded a lucrative five-year contract valued at $11 million to Cloud Harbor Economics, LLC. However, the award did not go uncontested. Myrridian, LLC, an unsuccessful offeror, took the matter to the Court of Federal Claims, lodging a protest against the award.

The crux of Myrridian's argument was a seemingly minor oversight: Cloud Harbor's SAM registration had momentarily lapsed after the company had submitted its proposal. Drawing from the stipulations of FAR 52.204-7(b)(1), Myrridian contended that Cloud Harbor was unequivocally ineligible for the award due to this lapse in registration.

The CFC, after careful deliberation, sustained the protest. The court's interpretation of FAR 52.204-7 was clear and unambiguous: a contractor must consistently maintain its SAM registration throughout the proposal and evaluation process. Moreover, the court emphasized that no agency possesses the authority to overlook or waive this requirement.

Cloud Harbor's oversight in allowing their registration to lapse before the award was deemed a violation of the clause. As a result, the CFC ruled Cloud Harbor ineligible for the award and prohibited CMS from moving forward with the contract. The court's decision was rooted in the belief that Myrridian was likely to succeed based on the merits of the case. Consequently, the court granted Myrridian's request for a preliminary injunction.

A Cautionary Tale for Federal Contractors

This case serves as a stark reminder of the meticulous attention to detail required in federal contracting. It emphasizes the non-negotiable need for contractors to ensure their SAM registration remains active throughout the proposal process. A seemingly minor oversight can have significant repercussions, potentially costing millions of dollars and lost opportunities.

Key Takeaway

Navigating the intricacies of the SAM registration process can be daunting. Mistakes, as evidenced by the case above, can be costly. However, you don't have to go it alone. If you ever find yourself uncertain or facing challenges in the SAM registration process, remember that expert help is just a call away. Reach out to Redstone Government Consulting and let our team of professionals guide you seamlessly through the SAM registration journey.

Stay vigilant, stay registered, and always ensure you're in compliance with all federal contracting requirements. Your business's success may very well depend on it.

Written by John David Baugher

John David Baugher Senior Managing Consultant JD is a senior managing consultant with Redstone Government Consulting. In his role, he routinely assists clients with matters of contract interpretation, management, and pricing. Professional Experience For almost 40-years, JD has supported a wide-range of government contractors providing services and products to the Federal Government. JD’s tenure in industry included the support of large electronics manufacturers and service providers to NASA, DOD and other agencies. His practical experience with contract law, interpretation of regulations and understanding of small business programs such as mentor-protégé, socio-economic designations and size standards, as well as GSA Schedule administration and maintenance provides a diverse range of knowledge for our clients to draw on. JD has supported both the contracts and procurement areas during his time in industry including the development of contracts and procurement teams as part of growing government contractors where he was responsible for developing policies, practices and training to ensure compliance with federal contracts. He has supported contracts in environments subject to Contractor Purchasing System Reviews, ISO, and other professional certifications. Additionally, JD has supported pricing throughout his career and is a rare contracts professional with a deep understanding of pricing, indirect rates, development of escalation factors, as well as proposal management and compliance reviews. In his role in industry, he was frequently called upon to develop subcontract agreements, OCI mitigation plans, small business subcontracting plans, model contracts and other requirements in support of RFP pursuits. JD has worked contracts all over the U.S., as well as working contracts and subcontracts based in the Middle East, and Europe. His diverse range of experience provides our clients with an excellent resource for not only day-to-day matters of contract management, but also in-depth knowledge of pricing large proposals across government agencies. He has experience with working for 8(a), SDVOSB, and tribally owned companies supporting a wide-range of U.S. Government programs.

About Redstone GCI

Redstone GCI is a consulting firm focused on fulfilling the needs of government contractors in all areas of compliance. With a singular mission to help contractors through the multiple layers of “red tape,” we allow contractors to focus on what they do best – support their mission with the U.S. Government. We are home to a group of consultants made up of GovCon industry professionals, CPAs, attorneys, and retired government audit and acquisition professionals.

Our focus and knowledge of audit and compliance functions administered by DCAA and DCMA will always be at the heart of what we do. However, for the past decade, we’ve strategically grown to support other areas of the government contractor back-office with that same level of focus and expertise. We’ve added expertise in contracts management, subcontract administration, proposal pricing, various software systems, HR and employment law, property administration, manufacturing, data analytics/reporting, Grant specialists, M&A, and many other areas. When we see a trend in the needs of contractors, we act to ensure we can provide the best expertise in the market to fulfill those needs.

One thing our clients can be certain of is that with the Redstone GCI Team in your corner, there is no problem too big and no issue too technical for our team to tackle.

Topics: Small Business Compliance, Contracts & Subcontracts Administration, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)