The General Services Administration announced that it is canceling the Alliant 2 Small Business (A2SB) solicitation as “the government is examining and wants to bring to market significant updates and new requirements” to the vehicle.
GSA made awards for the $15 billion IT services contract in December 2017 and faced a series of protests, for which the agency took corrective action and accepted revised proposals. Five months after rescinding all awards, GSA proposed contract changes last August that would boost the number of awards.
“A2SB is an important part of GSA’s GWAC portfolio, and – upon development and approval of the updates and new requirements – will be re-procured under a new solicitation,” the agency said in a notice posted Thursday. “While the reprocurement can continue to focus on information technology (IT) services from small businesses, a rebaselined offering can also afford additional opportunities for the extended small business community while better reflecting today’s information technology marketplace.”
“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,” the notice continued. “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). Businesses may continue to offer solutions through the Multiple Award Schedule, team with existing GSA GWAC contract holders, and consider the 8(a) STARS III GWAC solicitation.”
GSA said a request for proposals for 8(a) STARS III would be issued later this month, “with an even greater focus on supply chain security, emerging technologies, and performance outside of the continental United States.”
Laura Stanton, GSA Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of Information Technology Category, said in a statement Thursday that the changes are an agency response as “the needs of our customer agencies, small business partners, and industry partners are rapidly evolving.”
“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,” Stanton said. “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.”
GSA said in a press release that “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.”
“In light of STARS II ceiling increase and cancellation of Alliant2 Small Business acquisition, it would be prudent for DHS to revisit adding IT-70 to the EAGLE Next Gen/Best in Class vehicle list,” said GTSC Executive Board Member Patty Todaro Bolin. “When STARS II hit its ceiling, components had to change their acquisition strategy, sometimes more than once. As stated in the GSA announcement, GTSC believes that adding IT-70 would also further enable DHS to support recent developments in cybersecurity, emerging technologies, and supply chain risk management.”
“This would be helpful, as GSA’s guidance will be to fill the gap with only STARS II and VETS2; both are excellent choices, but having the breadth of IT-70 may be helpful to both industry and DHS,” she added. “This would further assist those mid-tier and large businesses who have alliances with, or joint ventures with, IT-70 Small Businesses. GTSC intends to raise this issue with Soraya Correa.”
GSA instructed stakeholders to monitor beta.sam.gov for further announcements on “the opportunity to strengthen, innovate, and better respond to changing technology needs and security threats.”