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GSA Issues Request for Information for Entity Identification and Validation Services

UPDATE: MAY 2017

 

On February 13, 2017, the General Services Administration (GSA) released a Request for Information (RFI) for government-wide entity identification and validation services.  Currently, these services are provided by Dun and Bradstreet, whose contract with GSA expires in 2018.  The government has a need for assignment and maintenance of a unique numbering system to consistently identify specific commercial, nonprofit, or government entities. The overarching government requirement is for business identification and validation services associated with that unique number. 

 

GSA received an impressive number and variety of responses to the RFI from Industry and other stakeholders.  GSA is methodically reviewing the responses to determine the viability of proposed alternatives across the government award communities which will result in greater clarity for the next steps.

 

GSA welcomes feedback from industry partners and other concerned stakeholders. Industry engagement is a key success factor in a complex acquisition such as this.  More information will be shared as it is available.  

 

 

INITIAL POST:

The General Services Administration (GSA) has released a Request for Information for government-wide entity identification and validation services. The government has a need for assignment and maintenance of a unique numbering system to consistently identify specific commercial, nonprofit, or government entities. The overarching government requirement is for business identification and validation services associated with that unique number.

 

Currently, these services are provided by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B), whose contract with GSA expires in 2018.  The government is exploring all viable means of continuing to meet its ongoing need for entity identification and validation services after the contract’s expiration.  Additionally, both the FAR and 2CFR regulations have recently been revised to remove any proprietary references to Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) and DUNS.

 

“This RFI represents a step forward in assessing entity validation services purchased by IAE on behalf of the entire government awards community,” says Integrated Award Environment (IAE) Deputy Assistant Commissioner Vicky Niblett. “We want to ensure integrity over the awards of taxpayer dollars as we proceed to the next steps. GSA remains committed to transparency within this process, and seeks to obtain maximum public input.”

 

GSA looks forward to gathering feedback from industry partners and other concerned stakeholders. Industry engagement is a key success factor in a complex acquisition such as this, and responses to the RFI will help to refine the Request for Proposal or Solicitation.

 

The RFI is posted on FBO, and will be available for review and comment until March 13, 2017.

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=46419b596d...

Submit comments to: entityvalidation@gsa.gov


 

Entity Identification and Validation Services

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(02/10/2017)

 

1.     What is a “Unique Entity Identifier” and Why is it Important?

 

The term “Unique Entity Identifier” means a number or other identifier used to identify a specific commercial, nonprofit, or Government entity.  Unique identification is critical to ensure Federal dollars are awarded to responsible parties, awardees are paid in a timely manner, and awards are appropriately recorded and reported.  The one contract for governmentwide use ensures individual agencies don’t have to separately contract for identical validation services.

 

The Unique Entity Identifier is currently the Data Universal Number System (DUNS®) number with which entities register in the System for Award Management (SAM). The unique entity identifier is tied in SAM to the legal Entity name, ‘doing business as’ name, and the physical address that corresponds to it. Entities awarded Federal procurement and grants actions, with limited exceptions, are required to register in SAM. The information from SAM is used throughout the government, to include all aspects of the procurement and financial assistance processes.

 

2.     Are there Alternatives for the Unique Entity Identifier?

 

In recent years, legislation has been enacted (e.g., the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act and the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act) that requires expanded identification of entities working with the Government and the development of standards, processes, and policies to better trace Federal dollars from appropriation to final outcomes or results. Creation and maintenance of data standards will facilitate collection and display of essential information. A data standard for identification of entities receiving Federal awards has been developed as part of the implementation for the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act and is available at:

http://fedspendingtransparency .github.io/whitepapers/unique-idbusiness-name/.

 

The Federal Government will establish a transparent process for exploring potential alternatives to existing entity identifiers. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Treasury, in collaboration with the General Services Administration and the Award Committee for E-Government will establish a process for considering options, including soliciting information about viable alternatives from and reaching out about nonproprietary alternatives to all sectors, including private companies, nonprofits, and Federal government providers. This process will result in an analysis of alternatives for the unique identification of entities working with the Federal government while maintaining the statutory and regulatory integrity protections for the needs of the various awarding communities (loans, financial assistance, procurement, etc.) as well as transparency communities. The analysis of alternatives will include consideration of costs, implementation considerations, and protections for Federal taxpayers. The analysis of alternatives is anticipated to be completed in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.

 

3.     What is the current scope of the Entity Validation Services being provided by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)?

 

The current Unique Entity Identifier, the DUNS® number, is owned by Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) and is licensed to the Government under a contract between D&B and GSA. 

 

Entity Validation includes the assignment of a unique identifier and objective verification of entity-provided information against authoritative sources for data associated with the unique identifier.  Data to be validated includes:

 

●      Address Standardization – a properly formatted and postal service-recognized address, to include international addresses

●      Address Verification – the stated address must be tied to a business entity, established at that specific location

●      Business Legitimacy – established as entity name + Address Standardization and verification that is independently verified from a specified number of independent data sources

●      Confirmation of the existence of and/or assignment of a unique identifier formatted as a 9-digit numeric

●      Corporate Hierarchy – maintained and updated with changes for the life of the unique identifier

 

The Government has a need for assignment and maintenance of a unique numbering system to identify specific commercial, nonprofit, or Government entities; however, the overarching Government requirement is for Entity Identification and Validation services associated with that unique number.

 

4.  Is the Government considering government-developed solutions?

 

Throughout the Federal Government, there are numerous other identifiers that serve separate purposes.  The Government will consider any reasonable alternative that satisfies the requirements for Entity Identification and Validation services and welcomes interested parties to fully engage in the Request for Information (RFI) process.

 

5.     What is the current status of the contract with D&B?

 

The current contract was awarded in June 2010 and expires in June 2018 (3-year base period, with 5 one-year option periods).  

 

 

6.     What has GSA done to increase data availability and transparency within the      

existing D&B contract?

 

Terms and Conditions were recently updated to allow for D&B-sourced content to be used widely by the Federal Government (i.e., even for non-acquisition related purposes) and to remain in Government systems after the end of the contract. This includes the use of data in compiling research of historical procurement information and conducting trend analysis. It is expected that the expansion of these data rights will assist agencies in making better-informed, data-driven decisions as they strive to meet their missions.

 

7.     Are other governmentwide Unique Identifiers being considered as a potential

replacement for the DUNS?

 

Throughout the Federal Government, there are numerous other identifiers that serve separate purposes.  The Government will consider any reasonable alternative that satisfies the requirements for Entity Identification and Validation services and welcomes interested parties to fully engage in the Request For Information (RFI) process.

 

8.     What is the timeframe for exploring alternatives and how will industry be engaged

  throughout the process?

 

The existing contract expires in June 2018. A new contract will be in place prior to this date to ensure a smooth transition of services. To ensure maximum transparency, ongoing engagement will occur throughout the process.  Government representatives for both the acquisition and federal assistance environments are currently engaged in evaluating the required business process outcomes. The Government intends to seek industry and other stakeholder input via a Request for Information (RFI) and will use responses to the RFI to help refine the Request for Proposals or Solicitation. 

 

The tentative schedule is as follows:

 

●      RFI posted - February 10, 2017

●      RFI responses due - March 13, 2017

●      Pre-Solicitation Conference - Summer 2017

●      RFP/Solicitation posted - Summer 2017

●      Contract Award - prior to June 2018

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Comments

kengoldman
<p dir="ltr" style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: 1.2; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Arial; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">GSA received an impressive number and variety of responses to the RFI from Industry and other stakeholders.&nbsp; GSA is still in the process of reviewing the responses to determine the viability of proposed alternatives across the government award communities which will result in greater clarity for the next steps. </span></p><div>&nbsp;</div><p><span style="font-size: 12.8px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">More information will be shared and posted to Interact as it is available.</span></p>
Infogroup
<p>What is the current status of the anticipated Pre-Solicitation Conference and RFP Solicitation?</p><p>Any dates set?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Thank you.</p> <body id="cke_pastebin" style="position: absolute; top: 38px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden; left: -1000px;"> <p style="margin: 12px 0px 12px 0.75in; padding: 0px; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); font-family: Arial, &quot;Arial Unicode MS&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Pre-Solicitation Conference - Summer 2017</p><p style="margin: 12px 0px 12px 0.75in; padding: 0px; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); font-family: Arial, &quot;Arial Unicode MS&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; RFP/Solicitation posted - Summer 2017</p><p style="margin: 12px 0px 12px 0.75in; padding: 0px; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); font-family: Arial, &quot;Arial Unicode MS&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Pre-Solicitation Conference - Summer 2017</p><p style="margin: 12px 0px 12px 0.75in; padding: 0px; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); font-family: Arial, &quot;Arial Unicode MS&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; RFP/Solicitation posted - Summer 2017</p><p style="margin: 12px 0px 12px 0.75in; padding: 0px; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); font-family: Arial, &quot;Arial Unicode MS&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Pre-Solicitation Conference - Summer 2017</p><p style="margin: 12px 0px 12px 0.75in; padding: 0px; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); font-family: Arial, &quot;Arial Unicode MS&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; RFP/Solicitation posted - Summer 2017</p><p style="margin: 12px 0px 12px 0.75in; padding: 0px; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); font-family: Arial, &quot;Arial Unicode MS&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Pre-Solicitation Conference - Summer 2017</p><p style="margin: 12px 0px 12px 0.75in; padding: 0px; color: rgb(76, 76, 76); font-family: Arial, &quot;Arial Unicode MS&quot;, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; RFP/Solicitation posted - Summer 2017</p></body>
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