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GSA details plans for Alliant, VETS set-aside contracts.

GSA has released draft RFPs for the two Alliant governmentwide acquisition contracts.

The proposed Alliant Small Business GWAC is a set-aside worth up to $15 billion over 10 years. Its companion, Alliant, is valued at $50 billion and would be open to all bidders. GSA agreed to set-aside 23% of the total value after hearing from SBA and small business advocates.

Up to 40 contractors will be chosen for Alliant SB. Awards are anticipated in summer 2006, GSA said. Small firms will compete for work in two functional areas, information systems engineering and systems operation and maintenance.

According to the draft, GSA will seek at least three bids on each task order. Alliant SB promotes the use of performance-based contracting and will use fixed-price, cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials and labor-hour contracts.

GSA said it will consider an on-ramp/open-season at the five-year option period.

The unrestricted Alliant contract sets a small business subcontracting goal of 50%: 6% for small disadvantaged businesses, 5% for woman-owned businesses and 3% each for HUBZone and service-disabled veteran owned businesses, according to agency documents. About 20 awards in eight functional areas are anticipated under that contract.

GSA's original acquisition plan for Alliant came under fire last year after the agency told small businesses to form teams and said there would be no set-asides. (SAA, 4/16/2004) Small-business advocates, including SBA, pressed for changes in the plan.

However, industry executives see "a lot of overlap" in the services offered under the two Alliant GWACs and GSA's Networx telecommunications contract, said Bill Gormley, president of the consulting firm Federal Sources Inc. He said the overlap means some companies will feel compelled to compete on more than one contract, straining their business development budgets.

GSA has set pre-solicitation conferences April 18 in Washington and April 26 in San Diego. Comments on the RFPs are due by June 3.

To see GSA's PowerPoint presentation on the contracts, go to www.gsa.gov/alliant, click on "Press Release" on the left side of the screen and scroll down to the bottom of the document.

VETS RFP Released

GSA has issued the RFP for the first governmentwide acquisition contract set aside for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

The Veterans Technology Services (VETS) GWAC is worth up to $5 billion over 10 years, with a five-year base period and five annualoptions. Awards are expected early next year for information systems engineering and systems operations and maintenance services. The number of awards has not been determined.

President Bush directed GSA to create the GWAC in an executive order last fall as part of an initiative to increase contracting opportunities for disabled veterans. Congress has set a goal of awarding 3% of prime contract dollars to SDVs, but agencies have never achieved even one-quarter of 1%.

Congress authorized sole-source and set-aside contracts for service-disabled veterans last year, but many veterans' groups want the set-aside rules strengthened. Vietnam Veterans of America said SBA violated congressional intent by applying the "rule of two" to SDV contracts: no sole-source contract is permitted if two or more qualified SDVs are available.

VVA also wants Congress to rewrite the law to provide that contracting officers "shall" set aside work for SDVs if qualified companies are available, the same language that applies to 8(a) and HUBZone set-asides. The interim rule says contracts "may" be set aside for SDVs. (SAA, 4/1)

For more information, go to www.gsa.gov/vetsgwac.
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Title Annotation:General Services Administration
Publication:Set-Aside Alert
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 15, 2005
Words:570
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