GSA finalizes plans for $150b systems services GWAC

The Alliant buy by the numbers

  • 800: Number of expected proposals

  • 15 years: Length of the contracts, with five-year base periods and two five-year option periods

  • $150 billion: GWAC ceiling

  • 15: Contracts for large businesses

  • 5: Contracts for small-business coalitions

  • 30 percent to 40 percent: Small-business subcontracting goal for large companies

  • 11: Service areas'systems design, programming, facilities management, training, data processing and hosting, satellite telecommunications, other telecommunications, Internet service, cybersecurity, Web search portals and other computer-related needs
  • Feb. 18: Industry day in Oakland, Calif.

  • March 29: Industry day in Washington

  • June 2004: GSA to issue RFP

  • September 2004: Bids due

  • May 2005: GSA to award contracts
  • The General Services Administration is adding some unusual muscle to its $150 billion Alliant governmentwide IT services procurement.

    'After the first five years and every two years after that, we will decide how companies are performing, and if they are not, we will kick them off,' said Bill Archambeault, the senior GSA contracting officer overseeing the buy. 'During open season, we will replace companies that are kicked off so we keep the number of prime contractors constant.'

    GSA is taking this tough-love approach because officials realize they have not monitored governmentwide acquisitions contracts adequately in the past, he said this month at an Industry Advisory Council meeting in Washington.

    'The oversight for Alliant will be better,' Archambeault said.

    GSA's Federal Technology Service plans to merge some or all of the requirements of its Access Certificates for Electronic Services, Applications 'N Support for Widely Diverse End-User Requirements (ANSWER), Disaster Recovery, Millennia, Safeguard and Virtual Data Center GWACs into Alliant.

    'We thought these [GWACs'] services still were necessary, so we included them in the contract' plans, Archambeault said. 'We still need the Office of Management and Budget to approve our business case, but my intent is to do it this way.'

    Making the case

    Within the next few weeks, GSA will submit to OMB the business case for the 15-year contract. GSA plans to release a presolicitation notice later this month.

    A special contract review board last year first suggested that GSA merge some GWACs [GCN, Oct. 13, 2003, Page 10]. It suggested the agency consider combining ANSWER and Millennia and letting eight other multiple-award contracts expire.

    GSA expects to award 15 contracts under Alliant to large businesses and five to coalitions of small businesses, Archambeault said.

    'My intent is to make this a performance-based contract with a maximum participation of small businesses,' he said.

    A small-business coalition could be as few as two small companies. He said GSA will view the coalitions as joint ventures rather than teams.

    'I still have to discuss the way a coalition would work with the Small Business Administration,' Archambeault said.

    And GSA also will scrutinize how much work the large businesses subcontract to small ones. Large companies will have subcontracting goals of at least 30 percent to 40 percent, he said.

    GSA's plans call for issuing the request for proposals by June, accepting bids until September and awarding contracts in May of next year. Because GSA expects to receive more than 800 proposals, the agency will select finalists to make oral presentations.

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