In order to do business with the federal government, any company must first validate their business by obtaining a DUNS number. Dun & Bradstreet has held the contract to manage those numbers for over 20 years. Last year GSA opened the contract to competitive bids, and has recently awarded the new contract to Ernst & Young.
The DUNS number will be phased out over the coming months and replaced by the ‘System for Award Management Managed Identifier’ number, or ‘SAMMI’.
GSA has said that the new contract will create a more simplified and secure method for validating entities.
There has been some criticism in the past about the effective monopoly that Dun & Bradstreet has on the system. Under the new system, businesses will register for no charge at SAM.gov, and information will be validated against data provided by Ernst & Young.