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Arkansas APEX Accelerator Counselors are Ready to Help You Navigate BETA.SAM.GOV

by Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center - December 2, 2020

Ever since the transition from the federal government's previous solicitation portal (FBO.GOV) to the current BETA.SAM.GOV, many clients find that they are having challenges finding or managing opportunities on BETA.SAM.GOV.

If you find you are having similar issues, check in with your Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center counselor. We can walk you through many facets of the new BETA.SAM.GOV portal, including: 

  • Signing up to access the portal
  • Customizing filters to find specific types of opportunities 
  • Setting up "saved searches"
  • Following opportunities and receiving notifications when solicitations are changed or updated

Once you become comfortable with the portal, the next question that many contractors have been asking, "Where's the Interested Vendors List?"

Before we address this question, let's define the "Interested Vendors List" or IVL. As the name implies, the IVL is a place where vendors can express their interest in bidding or submitting proposals on specific opportunities. The IVL is very helpful if you seek subcontracting opportunities with prime contractors who have expressed interest in the opportunity you want to pursue. You can add yourself to the IVL by logging in to your BETA.SAM.GOV account as a registered user.

So, where is the IVL in BETA.SAM.GOV? The good news is that it's still there, but the contracting officer has to "turn it on" to make it visible to the public. 

The bad news is that most solicitations do not have the IVL turned on by default. If you face this issue, here are a few simple steps you can take to gain access to the IVL.

Step 1:  As soon as you see a solicitation on BETA.SAM.GOV that you want to pursue, check whether the contracting officer has turned on the IVL for public viewing. If it's visible to the public, you'll find it in the left-side navigation bar after opening the solicitation notice. 

Step 2:  If you don't see the IVL, contact the contracting officer listed in the solicitation notice. Advise them that you are interested in subcontracting opportunities on this solicitation and ask if they can turn on the IVL and make it visible to the public.

Step 3:  If the contracting officer isn't able to turn on the IVL for public viewing due to "system limitations," request they publish the list as an attachment to the solicitation at their earliest convenience. You may also ask that they post an updated IVL a couple of days before the solicitation due date to capture any firms not included in the earlier published IVL. 

The bottom line: If you are frustrated, confused, and need help, contact your Arkansas APEX Accelerator counselor.