GSA Releases Draft of New Government IT Services Contract Polaris
The General Services Administration released the draft framework for its new governmentwide small business IT services contract, dubbed Polaris, including a list of service offerings covered under the contract and emerging technologies vendors should be prepared to pitch as part of task order competitions.
The Polaris governmentwide acquisition contract, or GWAC, is set to replace the ill-fated Alliant 2 Small Business contract, which GSA abruptly canceled in July. After waves of protests, rescinded awards and re-awards led to the Alliant 2 SB cancelation, GSA promised to fill the void with a new small business-focused contract and began work on Polaris, releasing the draft request for proposals on New Year’s Eve.
“The principal nature of any resulting task order procurement must be for IT services,” the document states, “however, ancillary support may be included when it is integral to and necessary for the IT services-based effort.”
In addressing one of the issues related to Alliant 2 SB, the Polaris contract will focus on three socioeconomic groups, dividing into their own pools: small businesses, women-owned small businesses and those located within a historically under-utilized area, better known as HUBZones. The draft document notes GSA reserves the right to create and award spots on new pools as part of future open seasons.
Along with the focus on socioeconomic set-asides, the Polaris GWAC differentiates itself from other GSA contracts through its offerings: IT services like cloud, data management and software development, rather than commodities like IT hardware or off-the-shelf software products.