Many planned federal procurement changes and updates did not materialize in 2020 for obvious reasons. Hopefully, 2021 will not be as unfruitful. 

The DUNS number was supposed to go away in December of 2020. It’s still here. The new target for DUNS disposal is April 2022. By then, a new Unique Entity Identifier will be issued directly from the Federal government via its System for Award Management or SAM.

Speaking of SAM, its cousin,, which absorbed the Federal Business Opportunities website in 2020 is scheduled to merge with SAM on April 26, 2021. Basically, will drop the ‘beta’ and will be the website going forward. By this time, SAM users will have access not only to their company registrations, but also to contract opportunities, wage determinations, and federal procurement data system reports. SAM, which went online in 2012, is about halfway through its mission of combining ten federal systems into one.

Federal contracting inn Guam continues to grow. Fiscal 2020 saw $100 million of growth over fiscal 2019 as $1.2 billion in federal contracts was awarded for Guam. Most of the awards were construction or facilities support services related. While most of the top five awardees were large businesses, there was (and still is) plenty of opportunity for local, small businesses. In fact, the fourth-place awardee of federal contracts for fiscal 2020 was a small, local construction company that did over $53 million as a prime contractor. Great job!

On Oct. 1, Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz was activated. This is a historic achievement as Camp Blaz is the first new Marine Corps base activated since 1952. Many buildings for the new base are in the solicitation phase and contract awards should be issued throughout 2021. For fiscal 2021, federal contracting on Guam is projected to again top $1 billion, making it three straight years topping the $1 billion mark.

With respect to small business certification programs, the official Women-Owned Small Business certification went online July 15. The new website is The old, self-certification process is no longer valid.

On Dec. 7, Cornerstone Valuation Guam Inc. became the first officially certified WOSB in Guam.

For fiscal 2021, Guam can expect a couple dozen more local companies to receive WOSB certification.

The 8(a) program saw a plethora of changes in 2020. I’ll highlight a few of them here. If your company was actively participating in the 8(a) program on or before Sept. 9, you are eligible for an extra year of participation. The 8(a) Joint Venture rules were scrapped and 8(a) companies will now follow the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program rules for joint ventures. Previously, 8(a) JVs required Small Business Administration  approval. That is no longer the case, unless the JV is for an 8(a) sole source contract.

Under the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, Veterans Affairs will no longer be in charge of Service-Disable Veteran-Owned Small Business certification. The VA’s Center for Verification will be disbanded and its duties will be transferred to the SBA. Don’t expect this to happen anytime soon, though. The 2021 NDAA states that this will all start “2 years after the date of enactment of this act.”

In 2020, the Department of Defense was pushing the urgency for all businesses in the DOD industrial base to get Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. Well, this came to a screeching halt. DOD realized there was no way they were going to get more than 300,000 contractors and subcontractors certified by the end of 2020. DOD is now targeting 2025 as the year when all DOD contractors and subcontractors need to have CMMC. On Sept. 29, DOD issued an Interim Rule notifying companies that they are supposed to be scoring themselves using the National Institute of Standards and Technology SP 800-171 DOD Assessment Methodology. Contractors and subcontractors are then supposed to report their current score and when they will be fully compliant in a database known as the Supplier Performance Risk System. Starting in fiscal 2021, DOD will use this information when evaluating companies for contract award.

While some fencing, road work, and port inspection projects are underway, Tinian should finally see some major work commencing in fiscal 2021. The roughly $200 million Phase One solicitation of the airfield development project should close on Feb. 8. Barring any protests, an award should be made three to six months later. This is good news for the Northern Mariana Islands as more federal dollars should start flowing into the local economy.

Speaking of the NMI, in September 2020, the NMI was awarded its own Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Former NMI Senator, Sixto Igisomar, is the director.

Congratulations to Sixto and his staff! If you are operating a business in the NMI and want to get involved in federal contracting, visit the NMI PTAC website,, to see how they can assist.

Guam PTAC counselors are familiar with all aspects of federal procurement and can assist you with you any of your questions or concerns. Best of all, Guam PTAC services are free of charge. To learn more about government procurement or to contact one of our procurement counselors, please visit our website: mbj


— Boris Hertslet is the program manager for the Guam Procurement Technical Assistance Center. He can be reached at [email protected].