The General Services Administration has made a third and final round of awards for the $50 billion STARS III governmentwide acquisition contract, the agency announced Friday.
As part of this third award cohort, 61 companies received 8(a) STARS III master contracts, taking the total number of industry partners on the solicitation to 1,108.
The 8(a) STARS III GWAC technology contract vehicle is designed to support federal agencies expanding their capabilities for emerging technologies, both inside and outside the continental United States.v
It includes limited protestability for task orders up to $10 million, and agencies seeking to make use of the GWAC receive expert guidance from GSA’s procurement team.
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.
Commenting on the final award round, GSA assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category, Laura Stanton, said: “What’s particularly great is that more than 30 of the 8(a) STARS III contract holders who already have task order awards are new to GSA through the 8(a) STARS III contract — it’s really launched their mission support journey.”
Editor’s note: This article was updated to clarify that the total number of federal contractors participating in the solicitation is 1,108.