STARS II Awarded To Small Disadvantaged IT Businesses
The General Services Administration recently announced that 599 small disadvantaged Information Technology (IT) businesses have just been awarded the 8(a) STARS II Government Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). GWACs are multiple-award, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts that help agencies meet their technology requirements through customizable solutions. The 8(a) STARS II program, which stands for Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resources for Services, is reserved exclusively for qualifying certified 8(a) small businesses to act as prime contractors. The 8(a) classification represents small sized businesses that are 51% or more owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantage individuals. As the GSA strives to support small disadvantage businesses, the 8(a) STARS II GWAC is designed to foster strong advantageous relationships between federal agencies and designated 8(a) IT contractors.
The 8(a) STARS II contract is comprised of several features and benefits for both federal ordering agencies and contractors. Features for contractors include a multiple award, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle; contract length of five-year base with one five-year extension option; $10 billion program ceiling; and Directed Order Authority, including Directed task orders up to $4 million for federal civilian and Department of Defense activities. Benefits for federal ordering agencies include 8(a) socioeconomic credit; pre-competed, easy to use contracts; access to proven 8(a) small business technology providers; shortened procurement lead time; and a low user access fee of 0.75% built into the contractor’s ceiling price. Additionally, the pricing and services available through this contract are pre-negotiated to be at least 10% less than the initial prices offered to the government.
Now in its third generation, the GSA 8(a) STARS program has been triumphed as a major success in promoting federal agency use of 8(a) classified businesses to purchase IT services and products. While the current 8(a) STARS II contract is now closed to proposal submissions, those contractors looking to participate can seek partnership opportunities with current contract holders. A list of contract awardees can be found at www.fbo.gov. Contractors, who wish to apply for the 8(a) certification, can do so at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website at www.sba.gov.