State Department sets out rationale for pursuing multibillion-dollar EVOLVE IT services procurement

The State Department says it decided to pursue the EVOLVE IT services procurement vehicle after considering three possible alternatives.
The US Department of State building is seen in Washington, DC, on July 22, 2019. (Photo by ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images)

The State Department has explained its rationale for pursuing the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity IT services solicitation EVOLVE in procurement documents.

In a determination and findings report on, the agency set out its reasons for moving ahead with the solicitation, which has a ceiling of up to $10 billion.

EVOLVE was launched to help the State Department’s Bureau of information Resource Management, the agency’s Office of the Procurement Executive and the Office of Acquisition Management to establish a more flexible IT services acquisition process.

According to State, the department landed on EVOLVE after considering three other alternatives: recompeting incumbent contracts in place, limiting the scope of EVOLVE to “other than small” contracts and using existing governmentwide acquisition contracts.


In its explanatory document, the agency said recompeting incumbent contracts would run increased risks of vendor lock-in and potential conflicts of interest. 

State added that it declined to limit the scope of EVOLVE to “other than small” contracts after establishing it would omit small businesses from key opportunities and result in further duplication of services.

Finally, the department said it had established that using existing governmentwide acquisition contracts was not feasible because of its unique global mission requirements.

“IRM [Bureau of Information Resource Management] also considered issuing a single task order as well as multiple smaller task orders against existing GWAC vehicles; however, as outlined in the acquisition plan, there is not a ‘one stop shopping’ GWAC solution that will support the unique worldwide mission of the Department,” the agency said in its document.

In July, the State Department raised the potential ceiling of EVOLVE, which is the largest such indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to be issued by the department.


The contract has five pools, and State is intending to award up to six spots to federal contractors in each category.

John Hewitt Jones

Written by John Hewitt Jones

John is the managing editor of FedScoop, and was previously a reporter at Institutional Investor in New York City. He has a master’s degree in social policy from the London School of Economics and his writing has appeared in The Scotsman and The Sunday Times of London newspapers.

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