Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced the next round of solicitations for Polaris, the agency’s new small-business-focused governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC). This second set of requests for proposals (RFPs) is specifically for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) and Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) pools.
“GSA places a high level of importance on supporting small and disadvantaged IT service providers as they form relationships and do business with the federal government,” said Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Sonny Hashmi. “Polaris will guide small businesses through the federal market, with pathways to grow into our other contracts.”
Polaris aligns with Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. With the two new additions, the contract will be the first of its kind to have four pools of industry partners – Small Businesses, Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), HUBZone, and SDVOSB. (GSA released the Small Business and WOSB RFPs earlier this year.)
“GWACs serve as a springboard for small businesses to grow,” said Exodie C. Roe III, Associate Administrator for the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. “Building on the success of previous GWACs, Polaris will help GSA meet its small business goals and bring innovation to the small business community, federal agencies, and the acquisition workforce.”
Polaris will include a greater focus on emerging technologies, which represents another step forward for the next generation of IT services-based solutions from GSA.
“Emerging technologies are key enablers for a more efficient government. GSA will bring innovative small and socioeconomic small businesses into the contract so federal agencies can tap into their expertise to drive IT modernization and improve service delivery,” said Laura Stanton, Assistant Commissioner for the GSA Office of Information Technology Category.
There are several good-for-government key features of Polaris:
- Expanded Small Disadvantaged Business participation opportunities;
- Refreshment of the industrial base through on-ramps;
- Inclusion of a technical refresh clause that can be triggered as needed to adapt to customer needs;
- No contract ceiling; and
- No pricing at the contract level, which will enhance competition at the task order level.
General questions related to the Polaris GWAC may be directed to Polaris@gsa.gov.