We’ve become aware of a System for Award Management (SAM) registration issue from one of our clients that resulted in them not getting funded. The scientific review was successful and the applicant moved along to the administrative review. Unfortunately, when they registered in SAM they selected an answer for one of the first questions that made them ineligible for the SBIR/STTR DoD contract funding they were applying to.
The question relates to the “Purpose of Registration” or why an entity is registering to do business with the US government with two possible choices: “Federal Award Assistance only” and “All Contracts.” The client selected “Federal Award Assistance Only”. If I may editorialize here, to me, seems like a reasonable response to someone pursuing SBIR grants. However by selecting this choice, it streamlines the SAM registration. Unfortunately, by streamlining the registration, the client was not able to answer all other questions related to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) guidelines which does not cover all of the SBIR/STTR opportunities.
Furthering the frustration, the client was not only unaware of the issue, was not able to address and fix the registration until after the rejection came through. The fix took them less than five minutes which they did immediately after becoming aware of the problem. Unfortunately, it was too late and the agency still denied the application even after the repair was made.
With this in mind, we recommend you double check your SAM registration and ensure that you have the correct selection of “ALL CONTRACTS” so that you will not suffer the same fate.