The Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system is the authorized vendor database of the US government. It is a web-based application that manages the credentialing process for any individual or business that wants to supply goods or services to any federal government agency. Vendors access the database by visiting the official CCR website where they create login credentials and set up an account.
In 1994, the US Congress passed the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act. The goal of the law was to simplify the government procurement process, or the process by which private entities can sell goods and services to the federal government. Prior to the enactment of the law, the government procurement process was complicated and functionally inaccessible to small businesses. With the passage of this law, the government moved toward a single point-of-service credentialing system over the course of years, effectively leveling the playing field for contractors big and small.
The US government completed the transition to the single point-of-service system in the early 2000s. That system, the Central Contractor Registration database, is now the single way a vendor can become qualified to contract with the federal government. The CCR system is secure, proprietary and accessible to everyone via an Internet connection and a browser from the CCR website. It allows any entity that wants to contract with any federal agency to register in the system, create login credentials and generate an account that the vendor manages over the course of his interaction with the government.
Vendors complete a web form in the Central Contractor Registration system that collects the basic business information the government needs to vet credentials and conflicts. The vendor only has to provide this information once and in one place, simplifying the procedure significantly. All federal government agencies have access to the Central Contractor Registration system, so if a vendor wants to apply for contracts across multiple agencies, he does not need to complete multiple applications.
The other major benefit to using the Central Contractor Registration system is the use of managed accounts in a database rather than a static form submission process. Vendors have continuing access to their information in the system, and can update it at any time. This self-managed process decreases the paperwork and data entry burden on the government and increases accuracy and efficiency in the procurement process. Although vendors have access to their accounts at any time, they are required to officially renew their registration annually to remain on active status.