David Shive, the chief information officer (CIO) at the General Services Administration (GSA), apologized to the vendor community today for the agency’s challenges in transitioning to a new online identification system for the Federal government’s awards process.


GSA’s transition to the Unique Entity ID (UEI) from the original Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number has proved difficult for many vendors and drew criticism from Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who requested answers on what assistance the agency is providing to vendors.


“To the vendor community that’s struggling through this – and that we’re struggling alongside with you to do data cleansing activities to get you all reregistered as quickly as possible – we’re sorry about this,” Shive said during an ACT-IAC event today. “It’s a tough environment, but we’ll get this fixed as quickly as possible.”


Shive explained that his team has looked into many of the data issues that have caused problems with the transition and has looked at “automation and augmentation ways to shorten the backlog so that people can get quickly registered.” He said his team will continue to look at enabling technologies to solve these issues.


He also encouraged any vendors that are experiencing UEI problems to call GSA’s help desk, as the agency is actively working with partners to ensure vendors can “get registered, reregistered, and back online as quickly as possible.”


“The days of deploy and forget are long over – that’s IT from a decade ago. When we deploy or we help our other businesses deploy some capability that has a systems component, it’s on all hands on deck through the deployment and afterward as well,” Shive said. 


“There’s SWAT team capabilities that the agency has that are being brought to bear on any implementation, including the UEI implementation,” he added.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.