The General Services Administration plans to release an Alliant 3 draft request for proposals in the coming months potentially increasing the ceiling of the premier governmentwide acquisition contract for IT.
Alliant 3 remains in the market research phase as GSA considers the ceiling increase, as well as incorporating supply chain risk management requirements and Section 876 authority for agencies to award contracts at an hourly rate without considering price in their evaluations.
The predecessor, Alliant 2, has a $50 billion ceiling and estimated value of $36 billion, and agencies used the best-in-class (BIC) contract to procure innovative IT solutions including artificial intelligence, big data, biometrics, health IT, and virtual networking products and services in fiscal 2021.
“Because the Alliant 2 program has been so successful, we’re looking at moving forward on Alliant 3 much, much faster and earlier than we ever anticipated,” said Laura Stanton, assistant commissioner of IT Category at GSA, during the Coalition for Government Procurement Spring Training Conference on Thursday.
The Office of IT Category is trying to understand the impact supply chain risk management requirements will have on businesses, small ones in particular, so it put out two requests for information, Stanton added.
Most businesses were concerned with how to manage resource costs and remain competitive while becoming compliant, based on responses.
“They’re looking to the government to give well-defined guidance, when it comes to these cyber requirements,” Stanton said.
GSA officials also addressed Polaris — a small business set-aside, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for IT service-based solutions — which was paused for revisions following a series of protests.
Changes were made to several sections, following discussions with the Small Business Administration, the deadline for feedback on which was May 23.
“We’re sifting through the information right now,” said Tom Howder, deputy commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service.
GSA is “very close” to awarding a third cohort on 8(a) STARS III, a $50 billion governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) emphasizing small businesses and with subareas for AI and blockchain. Awarded in June 2021, the BIC contract already has more than 1,000 contractors onboarded.
The agency plans to round out its portfolio of cloud solutions with the Ascend cloud marketplace blanket purchase agreement (BPA), which is being written. GSA found common cloud requirements exist across the federal government and is simplifying them within Ascend, which will allow for the procurement of Infrastructure-, Platform- and Software-as-a-Service solutions and cloud-related IT professional services off the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS).
“We’re looking at multiple ways that agencies need to buy and manage cloud,” Stanton said.