• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Polaris Small Business Contract Vehicle: How GSA’s New IT Procurement Process May Revolutionize Government IT Acquisition


Feb 13, 2024
Polaris Small Business Contract Approved to Advance

In the near future, the General Services Administration (GSA) is likely to make announcements regarding the Polaris small business contract vehicle. This new contract will be used to replace the Alliant 2 Small Business and will feature pools of winners in different categories for small businesses. Government agencies will use this contract to acquire IT solutions and services across various performance areas, including cloud, cybersecurity, data management, and information technology.

The Polaris solicitation was released in early 2021, but it faced pre-award protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which led to legal action from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. As a result, GSA was ordered to amend the solicitation and allow bidders to resubmit their proposals.

On the eve of the new proposal deadline, two companies filed protests with GAO, alleging that GSA was not allowing them to update their past performance and experience information and that GSA’s position favored mentor-protégé firms. However, GAO rejected these protests and sided with GSA, clearing the way for GSA to make hundreds of awards for Polaris. The contract has no ceiling and can also be used for software development and IT operations and maintenance.

Despite GAO’s decision, there is still a risk of protests against the final awards from companies that were not selected or feel that they were unfairly excluded from consideration. Nonetheless, if successful, Polaris is expected to provide government agencies with more flexibility in procuring IT solutions and services across different performance areas while maintaining fair competition among small businesses.

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