Request for Full System for Award Management (SAM) Deviation Memorandum

We recommend that you authorize a deviation from the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to obtain expert services from [insert name of expert witness]to allow the awarding of a contract with/to [insert company/expert witness name] without requiring that the firm register in the System for Award Management(SAM).  [If the expert witness is a company employee and AGENCY anticipates awarding a contract to the company, insert a sentence that describes the expert witness’ relationship to the company.]  See generally FAR Subpart 4.11.  [Insert one to three sentences that provide a high-level overview of the case/investigation].  [Insert name of expert witness] is particularly well qualified to serve as an expert on all relevant issues.  [Insert one to three sentences that provide a high-level justification why the expert is well qualified for this investigation/case.]

We understand that absent an individual or class deviation, FAR sections 4.1102 and 4.1103 normally require firms that contract with the agency to complete SAM registration. While the FAR (6.302-3) permits the agency to contract for expert services in anticipation of potential litigation without full and open competition, we understand that this exception does not waive SAM registration requirements.

 In this case, [insert name of expert witness/company] has expressly informed us that [insert name of expert witness/company] will not [insert reason for deviation – e.g., register or renew their registration], because [include the reason(s) why the request for deviation was submitted.  Include additional sentences that provide compelling and detailed justification as to why registration will not/cannot occur.]  Accordingly, mandatory SAM registration would materially injure the agency’s mission by effectively depriving the AGENCY of the optimal choice of an expert, where he is under no obligation to offer his services to the AGENCY,and has expressly indicated that he [insert ( if appropriate) “ nor his (insert industry) firm”] is not willing to complete SAM registration.  Under these circumstances, we have no practical alternative but to seek this deviation.

Under the FAR, a deviation is permitted except where “precluded by law, executive order, or regulation.”  See FAR 1.402.  Upon consultation with the AGENCY Office of General Counsel, we believe that an individual deviation may be properly granted in this case, because it is not legally precluded so long as the contractor satisfies any legal requirements that otherwise apply in lieu of SAM registration.  We have been advised that SAM registration is not itself a statutory requirement, and that the FAR contemplates other circumstances in which contractors may be validly exempted from SAM registration (e.g., contractors performing duties entirely overseas), without exempting such contractors from any other legal requirements that may apply.

Upon your approval, this deviation shall exempt [insert company/expert witness name] from the requirement that SAM registration be completed and current prior to contract award (FAR 4.1102) and the parallel requirement for the agency to verify that SAM registration is complete before formally awarding a contract (FAR 4.1103).

We understand that this deviation, if granted; is not an exemption, for example, from any other applicable FAR requirements, including but not limited to the requirements of FAR 9.405 (prohibiting contractors who have been debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment from receiving contracts) or FAR 32.1108(prohibiting  the use of Government purchase cards for payments to contractors who have delinquent debts subject to collection by Treasury offset).  In addition,we understand that the contract will include appropriate representations and certifications from [insert company/expert witness name], as well as other provisions that have been determined to be applicable by Finance Office and OGC.  Likewise, this deviation is not intended to exempt the agency from any contract reporting requirements that may otherwise apply under the FAR (e.g., Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation).

Please note that, as required by FAR 1.403, a copy of this justification and approval of deviation should be maintained in the relevant contract file.