Polaris solicitations for 2 small business pools coming in February
The General Services Administration expects to issue two requests for proposals for its newest small business IT services contract this month, having only just posted pre-solicitation notices to SAM.gov on Jan. 27.
GSA plans to first open competition for the Small Business and Women-Owned Small Business pools under the Polaris Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC).
Polaris replaces GSA’s $15 billion Alliant 2 Small Business Contract and will allow agencies to buy customized IT services and solutions like cloud platforms, cybersecurity and software development technologies. Vendors had requested GSA hold the release of RFPs until after the 2021 holiday season, but now the agency is moving forward with Polaris quickly.
“Please hold all inquiries until after the solicitation is posted on SAM.gov,” read the pre-solicitations. “Proposals will be due approximately 30 days after the solicitation is posted.”
The tight turnaround won’t give bidders much time for teaming agreements. GSA will reject projects appearing in multiple proposals for the same pool across the board, making teaming with subcontractors harder, according to consulting firm OST Global Solutions.
Both pools will be multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts with five-year base periods and five-year options on which agencies can place task orders. Draft Polaris RFPs included seven categories of services for which task orders could be issued: cloud services, cybersecurity, data management, information and communication technologies, IT operations and maintenance, software development, and system design.
The GWAC is part of the Biden administration’s agenda to boost equity within federal procurement and in particular small businesses, which are valued at $30 million or less.
GSA plans to post pre-solicitation notices for Polaris’ other two Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and Historically Underutilized Business Zones pools at a later date.