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Readers aim their arrows at Beta.Sam.gov

Late last week, I complained about my experiences with the new Beta.Sam.gov site that has absorbed FBO.gov. Apparently I’m not alone is being a disgruntled user.

I asked readers what they thought and I’ve heard back from several. Among the complaints are the lack of training, no push notifications and difficulty drilling down into the NAICS codes.

Here is a sampling of what folks had to say:

“Absolutely insane and classic GSA move to replace a system with another system that is not fully tested,” wrote an anonymous reader. “Most features are failing, no push notifications is a huge impact to contractors, and the documentation is a joke.”

“Beta.Sam.gov initiative is a great idea but was a belly-flop from my perspective as a contractor,” another wrote. “I had an FBO search agent that covered (at last count) 14 Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground contracting locations…all in one search…. As best I can tell the ‘filter’ on Beta.Sam.gov goes two levels deep; in my case, Department of Defense, the Department of the Army. NOT EVEN CLOSE to what I had grown dependent on in my position.”

This commenter also submitted the issues to the “Provide Feedback” link and has received no response.

“Not having Push Notifications is a complete failure,” a third reader wrote. “It is absolutely 100 percent the most important feature, and it’s like no one asked industry about whether that was important.”

A fourth reader complained that the NAICS search is too broad. “It only allows me to search on the 2-digit NAICS … (they) need to add the 6 digit NAICS for contractors to narrow searches,” that reader wrote.

Following a solicitation is difficult as well because Beta.Sam.gov lists them by a Beta Record Number and not the solicitation number. “I have over 100 to follow and I have to open each one to see the solicitation number and other data,” a fifth reader wrote.

The Beta Record is meaningless to a contractor, that reader said. Here is an example of the Beta Record number that person posted: b764de4dce014f7c7b2db0af9.

Finally, a sixth reader also complained about missing information and the risk that the Beta.Sam.gov will impact ongoing procurement activities and cause delays. “I doubt GSA thought about that when they pushed forward with this move,” the reader wrote.

The system is live now for just over a week and obviously not off to a smooth start. Hopefully it will get better. In the meantime, keep the comments coming.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 18, 2019 at 12:16 PM


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