The General Services Administration’s (GSA) System for Award Management (SAM) was suppose to have been deployed in May 2012, but due to additional testing and other requirements the deployment was delayed by 60 days. On August 2, 2012, NextGov reported that GSA had finally brought SAM online on July 30, 2012. However, on August 3, 2012, Federal Computer Week reported that the system was taken down having experienced performance issues within days of its deployment.
As previously reported on Swineline, this new system is part of a consolidation process to incorporate nine different procurement systems into one integrated data system. Included in the first phase of deployment is a central contractor database for agencies to use when looking for contracting options. According to a March 15, 2012 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the federal government spends nearly $500 billion each year on contracts.
The GSA undertook efforts to consolidate the process beginning in 2008 projecting costs to be around $96 million. However, the GAO report found that GSA’s efforts to bring the system online was not only delayed in delivery, but cost taxpayers an additional $85 million due to the need to purchase additional hardware and key components in acquiring a hosting infrastructure, as well as other factors.
On August 6, 2012, SAM was again active online, but with a warning flag that it could still have some performance issues.