GSA Improves Search Functionality, Security for Procurement
In 2017, GSA launched the beta version of the SAM.gov website for federal contracting opportunities. As part of the redesign efforts, the agency solicited and received more than 35,000 comments from users.
Security was a major factor in the redesign, and GSA has been incorporating login.gov single sign-on capabilities into the procurement website.
“We heard from our users that data security was critical to them and were asked to ensure our products include the latest security controls,” Katherine Rollins, project analyst at GSA, tells FedScoop. “With over 734,000 active registrations as of April 2021, we understand the balance of data transparency and data protection.”
The login.gov capabilities will enable identity proofing to help verify that an online account on the SAM.gov site is connected to an actual person and will apply to those who manage their organizations’ SAM registration.
Additionally, as FedScoop reports:
GSA is in the process of assigning every organization that does business with the government a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), and SAM.gov displays UEIs along with their current Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number — slated for retirement in April 2022. UEIs are now visible on contract opportunities if the corresponding entity won an award.
“By assigning the UEI in the entity record, we’re enabling those doing business with the government to begin the conversion now,” Rollins says. “Making it visible almost a year before it becomes authoritative gives you time and flexibility to prepare.”
The website also has improved search capabilities, and users can now manage saved searches across domains in one place, according to FedScoop, and there is better search filtering. However, the publication notes that users still want more advanced keyword options, according to focus groups GSA has set up to get feedback on the website.
“The search is working for a lot of our current users, so we don’t want to make a change that breaks it for them,” Rollins says. “But we do want to allow for those advanced keyword operators in the search, and that is a huge ask from our user base.”