The General Services Administration has delayed publication of a final request for proposals for the $15 billion Polaris IT contract vehicle until early January.
In response to feedback from industry, the agency will now issue a final solicitation for the governmentwide acquisition contract vehicle (GWAC) in the new year. Contract officials at the agency had previously said they expected to issue the solicitation by December 21.
Polaris is one of the most hotly anticipated governmentwide IT acquisition vehicles among federal technology contractors. It has an expected $15 billion ceiling and will allow government agencies to obtain a range of services including cloud platforms, cybersecurity and software development technology.
“In effort to provide all of our stakeholders time to celebrate this holiday season with friends and family, the solicitations for the small business and WOSB pools are planned for release in January 2022,” a GSA contracting officer wrote in a blogpost on GSA interact. “The HUBZone and SDVOSB solicitations will follow.”
The vehicle will replace the Alliant 2 Small Business contract, which was cancelled by GSA in July 2020.
One federal contracting source told FedScoop the delay would mean small IT providers competing for a spot on the contract have less time to prepare their bids.
GSA issued a draft solicitation for the procurement on Dec. 31, 2020, and since then has taken feedback from federal IT contractors on the structure of the contract.
The GWAC seeks to support the Biden administration’s agenda to boost equity within federal procurement and focuses on three main pools: small businesses, women-owned small businesses and those located within historically under-utilized areas, which are known as HUBZones.
The Polaris draft RFP includes the following seven categories of services in which task orders will be issued: cloud services, cybersecurity, data management, information and communication technologies, IT operations and maintenance, software development and system design.
GSA Press Secretary Christina Wilkes, said: “We had intended to release the final requests for proposals (RFPs) in December. However, Industry’s responses to a survey in October clearly indicated that they would prefer that we hold off on releasing the RFPs until after the holidays and we are honoring that request.”
“Our priority is to release the RFP for the small business and WOSB pools in January 2022, with the small business pool to be awarded first, later in the year. The HUBZone and SDVOSB RFPs and awards will follow,” added Wilkes.