Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).
Notice of request for comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.
Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an existing OMB clearance regarding a notarized document submittal for System for Award Management (SAM) Registration.
Submit comments on or before October 9, 2018.
Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:
Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for the OMB Control number 3090-0317. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration”. Follow the instructions on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration” on your attached document.
Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405-0001. ATTN: Ms. Mandell/IC 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration.
Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two-to-three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Curtis E. Glover, Sr. Procurement Analyst, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, GSA, telephone number 202-501-1448, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 4.11 prescribes policies and procedures for requiring contractor registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) database to: (1) Increase visibility of vendor sources (including their geographical locations) for specific supplies and services; and (2) establish a common source of vendor data for the Government.
In the past, the GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an investigation into fraudulent activities discovered within SAM. Certain bad actors have, through electronic means, used public information to impersonate legitimate entities and established new entity registrations for those entities in SAM. By establishing fraudulent entity registrations, bad actors submitted bids in certain U.S. Government procurement systems or shipped deficient or counterfeit goods to the U.S. Government.
GSA established a new Information Collection Request (ICR) to collect additional information to support increased validation of entities registered and registering in the System for Award Management (SAM). This additional information is contained in a notarized letter in which an officer or other signatory authority of the entity formally appoints the Entity Administrator for the entity registering or recertifying in SAM. The original, signed letter is mailed to the Federal Service Desk for SAM prior to the registration's activation or re-registration.
The new ICR expires September 30, 2018, without authority for an extension. GSA is actively pursuing technical alternatives to the collection of this information for all non-federal entities. GSA seeks to refine the requirement and adopt a risk-based approach. This notice for an extension of the ICR lays the groundwork for the authority to continue collection of the information provided GSA is still pursuing the technical alternative beyond the ICR expiration date. In the interim, the collection of the notarized letter information is essential to GSA's acquisition mission to meet the needs of all federal agencies, as well as the needs of the grant community. A key element of GSA's mission is to provide efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the Federal Government. SAM is essential to the accomplishment of that mission. In addition to federal contracts, federal assistance programs also rely upon the integrity and security of the information in SAM. Without assurances that the information in SAM is protected and, is at minimal risk of compromise, GSA would risk losing the confidence of the federal acquisition and assistance communities which is serves. As a result, some entities may prefer not to do business with the Federal Government.
B. Discussion and Analysis
A 60-day notice was published in the Federal Register at 83 FR 24312 on May 25, 2018. Two comments were received.
Comments: One respondent stated that it is already time-consuming and frustrating for our grantees to use the SAM registration process. If the process was simple, it would not be a problem; however, having to submit notarized documents in addition to an already difficult process affects our ability to nimbly respond to programmatic initiatives through small grants to organizations or individuals who we know and want to partner with to achieve our goals. The other respondent stated that the new procedure creates another challenge for our grantees in that mailing the notarized document requires extra effort, but also finding a Start Printed Page 45241reliable courier service will be costly and requires a considerable amount of time to complete the registration process.
Response: GSA has taken several actions to address alleged fraudulent activity in the System for Award Management (SAM). The measures GSA has put in place to help prevent improper activity in SAM include masking specific data elements in the entity registration even for authorized entity users; requiring “parent” approval of new registrations for their “child” entities; multi-factor authentication using login.gov and notifying Entity Administrators when there is a change in the entity's bank account information. Requiring the formal appointment of the Entity Administrator by original, signed notarized letter ensures that the individual(s) reporting for their entity are associated with the entity and provides a validation of the letter submitter's identity by the notary. GSA is actively pursuing technical alternatives to replace and/or supplement the collection of notarized letters.
C. Annual Reporting Burden
Responses per Respondent: 1.
Total Annual Responses: 686,400.
Hours per Response: 2.25.
Total Burden Hours: 1,544,400.
The information collection allows GSA to request the notarized letter, and apply this approach to new registrants (an average of 7,200 per month) and to existing SAM registrants (an average of 50,000 re-register per month).
Entities registered and registering in SAM are provided the template for the requirements of the notarized letter. It is estimated that the Entity Administrator will take on average 0.5 hour to create the letter and 0.25 hour to mail the hard copy letter. GSA proposes that an Entity Administrator equivalent to a GS-5, Step 5 Administrative Support person within the Government would perform these tasks. The estimated hourly rate of $24.70 (Base + Locality + Fringe) was used for the calculation.
Based on historical data of the ratio of small entities to other than small entities registering in SAM, GSA approximates 32,200 of the 57,200 new and existing entities (re-registrants) will have in-house resources to notarize documents. GSA proposes that the entities with in-house notaries will typically be large businesses where the projected salary of the executive or officer responsible for signing the notarized letter is on average approximately $150 per hour. The projected time for signature and notarizing the letter internally is 0.5 hour.
The other remaining 25,000 new and existing entities (re-registrants) per month are estimated to be small entities where the projected salary of the executive or officer responsible signing the notarized letter is on average approximately $100 per hour. These entities will more than likely have to obtain notary services from an outside source. The projected time for signature and notarizing the letter externally is 1 hour. The estimate includes a nominal fee ($5.00) usually charged by third- party notaries.
D. Public Comments
Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary, whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Information Collection 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration. Please cite OMB Control No. 3090-0317; Notarized Document Submittal for System for Award Management Registration, in all correspondence.
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Dated: August 22, 2018.
David A. Shive,
Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2018-19324 Filed 9-5-18; 8:45 am]
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