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Unique Identification Codes for Federal Contractors : DUNS Numbers and CAGE Codes

Unique Identification Codes for Federal Contractors: DUNS Numbers and CAGE Codes, L. Elaine Halchin, Specialist in American National Government. November 21, 2016.”
An essential element of the federal government’s acquisition system is the capability to identify the businesses, and other types of entities, that do work for the government. Accurate identification of potential contractors and incumbent contractors facilitates a host of procurement processes while contributing to the transparency of federal government procurement. The federal government uses a proprietary system, Dun & Bradstreet’s (D&B’s) Data Universal Numbering System (DUN S), to uniquely identify the entities with which it does business. At no cost to the applicant, D&B assigns a DUNS number a nine digit unique identification code—to prospective government contracts. (Businesses that are not would – be government contractors al so may apply for a DUNS number.) The federal government’s use of DUNS, however, is not limited to the identification numbers. D&B provides, pursuant to its contract with the General Services of Administration (GSA), 7 types of software products and 14 data products that enable the government to use DUNS for a variety of acquisition -related functions, such as paying contractors. Furthermore, approximately 80 data systems within the federal government contain DUNS information.”

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