July 2, 2020
WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration is planning a new approach to its small business Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC) to help federal agencies partner with small businesses in various socioeconomic categories to meet the government’s information technology (IT) requirements. GSA today announced the cancellation of the Alliant 2 Small Business (A2SB) solicitation.
Since A2SB was originally announced, the federal government’s requirements have evolved and GSA recognizes the opportunity to strengthen, innovate, and better respond to changing technology needs and security threats. Plans are underway for a new and enhanced small business GWAC program that better reflects the changing landscape and addresses the needs of agencies to access the expertise of small businesses. The changes will support recent developments in cybersecurity, emerging technologies, and supply chain risk management.
Following additional market research with customer agencies and small business stakeholders, the future GWAC program strategy will include new solicitations aimed to develop pools of qualified small businesses including those from multiple socioeconomic categories such as Women-Owned, HUBzone, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, and 8(a) small businesses.
“The needs of our customer agencies, small business partners, and industry partners are rapidly evolving,” said GSA Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category, Laura Stanton. “GSA is committed to finding ways for our GWACs to reflect the current IT marketplace so that we can maximize the opportunities for small and women-owned, HUBzone, service-disabled veteran-owned, and 8(a) small businesses to contract with the government for cybersecurity, emerging technology, and IT supply chain risk management needs. We are working to expand the number of master contract awards to highly qualified small businesses on our GWACs, while focusing on technology requirements that support our customer agencies for future mission success.”
As part of the new strategy, GSA will be issuing a request for proposals later this month for the 8(a) STARS III GWAC, the agency’s flagship vehicle for procuring IT services and solutions from 8(a) prime contractors. A draft request for proposals was issued in August 2019 and GSA received robust industry feedback. The final solicitation will incorporate much of that feedback, with an even greater focus on supply chain security, emerging technologies, and performance outside of the continental United States.
Federal customers looking for a contract vehicle to fill IT services needs from small business prime contractors are encouraged to use GSA’s portfolio of IT contracts during this transition. GSA recently raised the ceiling on 8(a) STARS II by $7 billion to $22 billion. Both 8(a) STARS II and VETS 2 are Best-In-Class vehicles. Agencies may also use the Multiple Award Schedule – Information Technology (formerly IT Schedule 70). Small businesses may continue to offer solutions through the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), team with existing GSA GWAC contract holders, and consider the forthcoming 8(a) STARS III GWAC solicitation.