Beware of ‘government vendor registration’ websites that charge a fee!
We’ve previously alerted you to the existence of websites which unnecessarily lead businesses to pay a fee to be registered in government databases such as SAM, the System for Award Management (see, for example, http://gtpac.org/?p=7326).
Now, we want to make you aware of other websites that purport to get businesses registered to do business with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — for a hefty fee, of course.
Please be aware of the fact that commercial websites (.com websites, in other words) are just that — commercial. When a commercial website advertises to help you with the process of registering to do business with the government, there’s almost always going to be a fee involved. On the other hand, government websites (designated as .gov) offer free advice and registration.
One commercial website — currently running an aggressive advertising campaign directed at businesses — solicits vendors to fill out a “FEMA Contract Registration Form.” Once the form is filled out and submitted on-line, applicants receive the following message: “Thank you for submitting your information. We will be in contact with you shortly. Click below to make a payment of $500.00 for this service.” By clicking on the “Buy Now” button, you’ll be directed to a site to pay $500.00 via a PayPal account for “FEMA Registration.”
Please know that FEMA does not charge any money to register as a vendor to do business with them. And neither does any other federal agency.
In order to register as a potential vendor to FEMA, we recommend you:
1. Visit FEMA’s official website at http://www.fema.gov/doing-business-fema. There, you are given instructions to register in SAM and then download FEMA’s Vendor Profile Form at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/29748?id=6679.
2. Read the instructions for submitting FEMA’s Vendor Profile Form – for free. The instructions are located at: http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1858-25045-7342/ilp_factsheet.pdf.
To receive assistance with any aspect of vendor registration with any government agency at no cost, please feel free to contact the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center. Our contact information is at: http://gtpac.org team-directory.
If your business is located outside the state of Georgia, you can get free help from the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) nearest you. For a map of locations and complete contact information for PTACs nationwide, please visit: http://www.aptac-us.org.