If you’re a SDMWVLGBTBE (Small, Disadvantaged, Disabled, Minority, Women, Veteran, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered Business Enterprise) owner that has been chasing Federal contracts you have a CAGE code. We’ve had one since the late 1990s. This CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) Code is a unique identifier (ID) assigned to Federal suppliers. And this code is assigned to any business, no matter its size, when it registers to do business with the Federal government.
The DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) who is responsible for managing the assignment of the CAGE Codes is in the making changes to their process, so that they can verify and maintain accurate data about Federal contractors. Unfortunately, this 44 year-old program hasn’t had a consistent way of tracking when businesses with CAGE Codes become inactive. Perhaps they’ve gone out of business, reorganized under new ownership or simply decided not to keep current with their Federal listings.
What does this change mean for you? A CAGE Code will now have an expiration date. The implementation of expiration dates will begin with domestic CAGE Codes that are new or updated after August 25, 2016. For those companies that are registered in Federal contracting registration system, SAM (System Award Management) your CAGE Code expiration will be set to match your SAM registration … your SAM and CAGE Code will be set to expire at the same time. When you renew your SAM registration, your CAGE Code will be renewed with it.
What if you’re not registered in SAM but have a code? In February, the DLA launched a new public CAGE website to consolidate information about the program and allow for a CAGE Search and Inquiry feature. Businesses can find and keep their CAGE Codes active outside of the SAM system at this site, once the expiration date policy goes into effect.
NOTE: If you have an older CAGE Code, one that was received prior to 25 August 2016 and your business is not registered in SAM your CAGE Code will not automatically expire. A second phase of DLA’s effort is planned, but hasn’t been fully developed yet. The DLA is working on an auto-generated email notification that will be sent out alerting unregistered businesses that an expiration date for their CAGE code has been assigned. Following SAM guidelines, the DLA will make four attempts to contact the impacted businesses during this planned notification process.
So, if you have a CAGE code but are not sure of its status or your SAM registration, this might be a good time to do a little research.