By: Jake Scott, Partner, Smith Currie
August 10, 2023

The last few years have seen a number of protest decisions addressing whether offerors comply with the requirement to be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) at the time of proposal submission through the time of award. A recent decision from the Court of Federal Claims reminded contractors about the risks of failing to keep those requirements in mind when submitting an offer.

In Myriddian, LLC v. United States, No. 23-443, 2023 WL 3593965 (Fed. Cl. May 23, 2023), disappointed bidder Myriddian challenged the eligibility of an awardee for a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services. Myriddian asserted that the awardee, Cloud Harbor, was ineligible for award because it failed to comply with FAR 52.204-7(b)(1) (a common solicitation provision mandating SAM registration) when Cloud Harbor’s SAM registration lapsed during the time between Cloud Harbor submitting its offer and receiving the award. As Myriddian noted for the court, FAR 52.204-7(b)(1) requires all offerors to “be registered in SAM when submitting an offer or quotation, and [to] continue to be registered until time of award, during performance, and through final payment of any contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchasing agreement …” (emphasis added).

The court agreed with Myriddian and issued a preliminary injunction to stay the government’s award until the court fully resolves the protest. The court, in fact, concluded so even though Cloud Harbor was registered in SAM both at the time of its offer and when the government made the award, with the lapse occurring only between those two dates. Shortly after the court issued the preliminary injunction, the government withdrew the award to Cloud Harbor and the court dismissed the protest as moot.

The Myriddian decision serves as an important reminder that offerors have to monitor their compliance with SAM requirements at all times during the procurement process, and that SAM registration must remain active not only at the time an offer is submitted and at the time of award, but also during the entire period in between those dates. If an awardee does not fulfill those requirements, its award may be at risk.

The court thus confirmed that failing to stay up to date with SAM registration, even if it seems immaterial, can disqualify an otherwise successful offeror. With those consequences in mind, paying attention to whether your company satisfies those requirements, and whether your competitors do the same, is always a worthwhile move.

The author acknowledges and appreciates the significant contributions of Smith, Currie legal intern Cortland Walton, in developing this article.

Smith Currie provides comprehensive legal services to all parts of the construction industry across the nation. Smith Currie lawyers have decades of demonstrated success representing construction and federal government contracting clients “From the Ground Up,” including procurement matters, contract formation and negotiation, project administration, claims prosecution and, when necessary, in litigation and other forms of dispute resolution.

The  views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of ConsensusDocs. Readers should not take or refrain from taking any action based on any information without first seeking legal advice.

[1] This article has been updated from an earlier version published by Associate Alexander Gorelik.  Many thanks to Alex for his significant contribution in researching and writing this article.