GSA acquisition exec says agency will proceed with Polaris solicitation by end of June

The General Services Administration (GSA) Headquarters building. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

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The General Services Administration plans to unpause the Polaris acquisition, halted to amend the solicitation in light of a pre-award bid protest, by the end of June.

GSA will restart the proposal process and add a few extra days to the deadline in light of the July 4 holiday weekend, Laura Stanton, assistant commissioner of IT Category, told The Daily Scoop Podcast on Tuesday.

Polaris is a governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) for IT service-based solutions with no ceiling, the solicitation for which GSA agreed to revise after contractor BD Squared protested plans for assessing the experience of offerers engaged in joint ventures. Contractor feedback on the draft amendment was “critical,” Stanton said.

“It means that we can adjust,” Stanton said. “We talk about being agile, and I think that this is a great example of agility and creative thinking in how to work through an unexpected challenge.”

Requests for proposals for both the Small Business and Women-Owned Small Business pools were amended, while RFPs for the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business pools are expected in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022.

Polaris will be the first GWAC to feature competition at the task order level, an example of the Office of IT Category’s effort to move policy authorities into acquisition operations.

Stanton said she sees an opportunity to include similar contracting innovations in the Alliant 3 GWAC, which was expedited given the “unanticipated level of success” the $50 billion Alliant 2 contract has had — nearing its ceiling with a current estimated value of $36 billion. The Alliant 3 draft RFP is expected in the first quarter of fiscal 2023.

“We want to learn where we’ve been successful, what are the best practices, what do we need to continue, also exploring if there’s some opportunity for some innovations,” Stanton said. “We’ve seen some of those innovations playing out on Polaris.”

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Alliant 3, General Services Administration (GSA), Laura Stanton, Office of IT Category, Polaris
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