Secure Access Management Services (SAMS)
   SAMS Frequently Asked Questions
  

  Version 2.2 Ė Last Updated: 03/01/10

 

 

What is the SAMS Partner Portal?

Why do I need a SAMS Partner Portal account?

How do I get a SAMS Partner Portal account?

What do I need to register with the SAMS Partner Portal?

Why do I need to supply information about myself when registering with the SAMS Partner Portal?

How is my registration information used?

Is there a charge for a SAMS Partner Portal account?

Iím supposed to be given access to a public health computer application run by one of CDCís Programs. How does this relate to the SAMS Partner Portal?

Once I get my SAMS Partner Portal account, will I also have to register with CDC public health application(s)?

How do I register with the SAMS Partner Portal?

How do I get my invitation to register with the SAMS Partner Portal?

How long does it take to register with the SAMS Partner Portal?

How long will it take to get a SAMS Partner Portal account?

When / Why might I be asked to provide proof of my identity?

How will I know if I need to provide identity verification to CDC?

What is identity verification?

Is the identity verification process similar to a background check?

How does the identity verification process work?

How long does identity verification take?

What is a Proofing Agent and how do I find one?

Will I need any special documents to complete identity verification?

How is my identity verification information used?

Will the SAMS Partner Portal share my registration information with anyone outside of CDC?

Will the SAMS Partner Portal share my email address outside of the CDC or send me SPAM?

How is my registration and identity verification information protected?

Will SAMS or the CDC Proofing Authority ever ask me to submit my identity verification information by email?

Where can I find more information or details about the SAMS Partner Portal and the registration process?

How do I get help / contact the SAMS Help Desk?

 

 Question:  What is the SAMS Partner Portal?

 

Answer:  SAMS is a web site that allows public health partners and providers to access information and computer applications operated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

 Question:  Why do I need a SAMS Partner Portal account?

 

Answer:  Some of the applications or information made available to you through SAMS may be sensitive or non-public. For example, information might be displayed that could jeopardize a patientís privacy. The SAMS Partner Portal is one of the ways CDC controls and protects this information.

 

 Question:  How do I get a SAMS Partner Portal account?

 

Answer:  You must register online and be approved by a CDC program administrator. In cases where you might be exposed to non-public information, you may also be required to provide proof of your identity as part of your registration.

 

 Question:  What do I need to register with the SAMS Partner Portal?

 

Answer: SAMS will ask you to verify that your name is correct and to provide the following:

  • Your home address

  • Your organization / employer and their address

  • Your telephone number

     

     Question:  Why do I need to supply information about myself when registering with the SAMS Partner Portal?

     

    Answer:  The information you are asked to provide (your name, home address, your organization / employer, their address, and your telephone number) allows CDC and its programs to determine the kinds of applications most directly related to your role in public health. In addition, this information contributes to the verification of your identity and allows CDC to properly deliver any necessary notifications concerning your account.

     

     Question:  How is my registration information used?

     

    Answer: The information you supply during registration is used in the following ways:

    1. To assist CDC and its programs in determining the kinds of applications and information that most directly relate to your role in public health.

    2. To provide CDC and its programs with appropriate contact information.

    3. To provide customization for your user experience with the SAMS Partner Portal and various applications. This could be as simple as greeting you by name or as complex as establishing the kinds of information or jurisdictions that are meaningful to you and your work.

    4. To assist in the identity verification process.

     

     Question:  Is there a charge for a SAMS Partner Portal account?

     

    Answer:  No. SAMS is part of CDCís partner-facing web applications and is completely free to use.

     

     Question:  Iím supposed to be given access to a public health computer application run by one of CDCís Programs. How does this relate to the SAMS Partner Portal?

     

    Answer:  Many CDC Programs use the SAMS portal as their entry point for partner-only information and applications. Once your SAMS portal access has been approved, you will be able to start working with your application(s).

     

     Question:  Once I get my SAMS Partner Portal account, will I also have to register with CDC public health application(s)?

     

    Answer:  CDC programs receive some basic information about you from the SAMS Partner Portal registration process. Since this information is very basic, some programs may require additional details related to your specific needs. These programs may request that you work with them directly to provide this information.

     

     Question:  How do I register with the SAMS Partner Portal?

     

    Answer: The registration process consists of several steps:

    1. Receive an Invitation: You will receive an invitation to register and instructions in your email.

    2. Go Register: You will go online and register with the SAMS Portal.

    3. Get Identity Verification: If necessary, you will receive a second email with instructions and a request to provide proof of your identity.

    4. Receive Access Approval: Following registration and identity verification (if required) your information will be forwarded to a CDC administrator for approval.

     

     Question:  How do I get my invitation to register with the SAMS Partner Portal?

     

    Answer:  Invitations are created and sent by CDCís public health program administrators. You will receive your invitation in email from sams-no-reply@cdc.gov with the subject ďU.S. Centers for Disease Control: SAMS Partner Portal - Invitation to Register.Ē

     

     Question:  How long does it take to register with the SAMS Partner Portal?

     

    Answer:  SAMS Partner Portal registration can be completed in as little as ten (10) minutes. If you are interrupted during the process, it is easy to start again at another time.

     

     Question:  How long will it take to get a SAMS Partner Portal account?

     

    Answer:  Once a SAMS portal invitation arrives in your email, you will have thirty (30) days to register. Following online registration, some users may also need to provide proof of their identity. Once these steps are complete, a CDC application administrator will review your information and approve your access. Although specific situations vary, access approval is usually completed within a few business days.

     

     Question:  When / Why might I be asked to provide proof of my identity?

     

    Answer:  You will only be asked to provide proof of your identity (identity verification) if you will be given access to non-public information. In these cases, U.S. law requires federal government agencies like CDC to perform an identity check on each person before giving them access. This check helps to protect you and the people represented by the information you see.

     

     Question:  How will I know if I need to provide identity verification to CDC?

     

    Answer: If the computer applications you will be accessing contain non-public information, you will automatically receive an identity verification request from the CDC Proofing Authority following your registration.

    If identity verification is not required, you will receive your access approval confirmation instead.

    In all cases, you may contact the SAMS Help Desk using the information provided below if you have any related questions or concerns.

     

     Question:  What is identity verification?

     

    Answer:  Identity verification is process required by the U.S. federal government to help ensure that the person registering for access to non-public information is who they claim to be. The verification process protects individuals and the public at large by helping to ensure that only trusted persons are allowed access to non-public data. Verification also protects you (the person registering for access) by helping to prevent someone from attempting to impersonate you and take actions in your name.

     

     Question:  Is the identity verification process similar to a background check?

     

    Answer:  No. Identity verification is only used to confirm that you have registered using your true identity and that no one else is attempting to impersonate you.

     

     Question:  How does the identity verification process work?

     

    Answer: If you are asked to provide proof of your identity, the CDC Proofing Authority will send you a brief form and instructions via email. You must do the following:

    1. Read and complete the form (5 minutes)

    2. Take the form and your ID to a Proofing Agent for their signature (see below)

    3. Photocopy your ID documents and send them, along with the completed and signed form, back to the CDC

    Special Note: Sometimes ID documents become difficult to read after they have been copied and faxed. Once received, if your materials are not legible, you will be contacted and asked to resend them. If possible, please turn up the contrast and quality settings on your copy / fax and also please consider enlarging the original copy by 100%. These steps reduce the likelihood that your materials will have to be resent.

     

     Question:  How long does identity verification take?

     

    Answer: Assuming that you have ready access to a Proofing Agent, your side of the verification process can be completed in about 10 minutes.

    Once your materials arrive at CDC, they will be processed on a first come, first served basis that is expected to take 1 or 2 business days.

     

     Question:  What is a Proofing Agent and how do I find one?

     

    Answer:  CDC currently accepts identity verification forms that have been signed by a Notary Public or by an authorized CDC employee. In addition, the CDC program you are working with may have other designated agents available in your area. Please contact your CDC program directly or the SAMS Help Desk for more information.

     

     Question:  Will I need any special documents to complete identity verification?

     

    Answer:  No. Most people can complete the identity verification form with the information they carry with them every day. In some cases, such as a recent move or name change, you may need to provide an additional supporting document such as a utility bill.

     

     Question:  How is my identity verification information used?

     

    Answer:  The information you supply for identity verification is used only for this purpose and is not shared outside the CDC Proofing Authority.

     

     Question:  Will the SAMS Partner Portal share my registration information with anyone outside of CDC?

     

    Answer: No. The SAMS Partner Portal will not share your registration information with anyone except as listed below:

  • The SAMS Partner Portal will share your name and business contact information with CDC programs.

  • The SAMS Partner Portal will share you full registration information with the CDC Proofing Authority (if you are required to provide proof of your identity)

  •  

     Question:  Will the SAMS Partner Portal share my email address outside of the CDC or send me SPAM?

     

    Answer: No. The SAMS Partner Portal will not distribute your email address to anyone outside of CDC.

    The SAMS Partner Portal will only send you email communications in reference to your portal account. All emails will begin with the following subject line: ďU.S. Centers for Disease Control: SAMS Partner Portal.Ē

     

     Question:  How is my registration and identity verification information protected?

     

    Answer: CDC has implemented a wide variety of controls to protect the information, computer systems, and applications it maintains. These controls include, but are not limited to:

  • Technical Controls such as firewalls, virus protection, and encryption.

  • Policy Controls such as rules and requirements for data sharing and distribution.

  • Process Controls such as user identity verification.

  •  

     Question:  Will SAMS or the CDC Proofing Authority ever ask me to submit my identity verification information by email?

     

    Answer:  No Ė The CDC Proofing Authority will never ask you to send your identity information by email. Instead, you should always use fax or postal mail.

     

     Question:  Where can I find more information or details about the SAMS Partner Portal and the registration process?

     

    Answer:  Your CDC program team or representative can provide you with a copy of the SAMS User Guide. In addition, each step of the registration process provides clear instructions as well as details about what to expect next. If, along the way, you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the SAMS Help Desk or your CDC program.

     

     Question:  How do I get help / contact the SAMS Help Desk?

     

    Answer: You can reach the SAMS Help Desk between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM EST Monday through Friday (excepting U.S. Federal holidays) at the following:

    Toll Free: 877-681-2901

    Email: samshelp@cdc.gov