U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded the removal of a burdensome regulation that has long plagued family farms. The rule requiring producers to obtain Data Universal Number System (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM) numbers to participate in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs has been eliminated. Congress included this repeal in the FY 2018 Omnibus spending package, USDA’s official regulatory change will be published in the Federal Register.
“I’m pleased Congress helped us to achieve one of our regulatory goals of cutting red tape for producers utilizing conservation programs by exempting them from SAM and DUNS requirements,” Secretary Perdue said. “These numbers were designed for billion-dollar government contractors, not everyday farmers trying to support their families. These changes help streamline the customer experience for farmers, which is a top priority at USDA.”
Prior to this rule change in the 2018 Omnibus spending bill, DUNS and SAM numbers were required for any federal contract application. This became an onerous regulation for small farms, when it was intended for large government contractors. DUNS and SAM registration is still required for the following:
- Partnership agreements entered through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
- All agreements with eligible entities under the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP)
- Agreements under the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) component of ACEP
- Partnership agreements under the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) component of ACEP-Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)
- Watershed operations agreements with project sponsors
- Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) agreements with project sponsors, including Recovery and Floodplain Easements
- All cooperative, contribution, interagency, or partnership agreements of Federal contracts used by NRCS to procure goods or services
NRCS advises participants in its programs to ignore any emails, phone calls or other communications from third-party vendors offering assistance for registering in SAMS or applying for a DUNS number.
To learn more about NRCS financial and technical assistance, go to www.nrcs.usda.gov.