More than 500 businesses from across the U.S. have been selected to provide IT services through the acquisition vehicle. A full list of companies selected was published Monday on SAM.gov.
STARS III is a small business set-aside contract that is designed to provide flexible access to customized IT solutions from a large pool of 8(a) companies.
The 8(a) designation stems from the Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development program, which is designed to support the federal government’s goal to award at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to small, disadvantaged businesses each year.
Under SBA rules, an 8(a) business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are socially and economically disadvantaged and who have a personal net worth of $750,000 or less, adjusted gross income of $350,000 or less and assets totaling $6 million or less.
Other features of STARS III include a focus on expanding capabilities for emerging technology such as AI, blockchain, and robotic process automation. Contractors also must also support agency requirements for best value solutions outside of the continental United States.
Awards made under the STARS III can be protested up to a limit of $10 million.
Commenting on the award round, Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Sonny Hashmi said: “This second cohort award represents another step forward for GSA’s long-term and ongoing commitment to support and provide mission-enabling modern IT solutions to federal agencies. Small businesses are the backbone of this nation’s economy.” He added: “I’m proud of our partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration to create and sustain growth opportunities for socioeconomically disadvantaged companies in the federal IT space.”
The latest cohort follows an initial round of awards made to 426 small businesses by the GSA last June, which came almost a year after the agency issued its request for proposals.
GSA has worked with SBA on the IT contract vehicle as both agencies seek to use their work to support President Biden’s executive order on improving racial equity. Under the order, the President instructed departments across government to use federal resources to advance fairness and opportunity.