2021 Contract Vehicle Opportunities
As a small business government contractor, have you missed out on some of the top and profitable federal contracting opportunities this year? We have some good news for you; there are many more opportunities waiting for you!
2021 has been a year full of great contracting opportunities for small businesses so far, and there are still a number of upcoming contract vehicles lined up for release this year and the next.
A contract vehicle is a streamlined method used by the government to purchase various goods and services that it needs. A federal agency manages them centrally to reduce acquisition administrative costs and increase time and resource efficiencies. For government contractors, they provide dedicated opportunities to win contracts and sell to the government. For eligible small businesses, the key to getting ahead of the competition and winning a contract vehicle is to start preparing as soon as possible. We describe five upcoming contract vehicles that you can prudently pursue for success this year.
Five upcoming Contract Vehicles
We present a brief overview of five upcoming contract vehicles to pursue:
The Electronic Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Accelerated and Simplified Tasks (eFAST) is the FAA’s favored contracting vehicle for contracts with small businesses that allow long-term procurements for a broad array of professional and support services. Functional areas under the vehicle are support service categories used in eFAST acquisitions. eFAST Master Ordering Agreement (MOA) Holders offer services in functional areas such as Air Transportation Support, Business Administration & Management, Research & Development, Computer/Information Systems Development, Computer Systems Support, Documentation & Training, Engineering Services, Maintenance & Repair. eFAST streamlines the procurement process through its use of a web-based acquisition tool and automated workflows compliant with FAA standards.
How you can benefit from eFAST
Starting with Fiscal Year 2010, the eFAST program has awarded contracts worth over $4.4 billion to small businesses. According to the screening information request (SIR) released in November 2020, the anticipated total ceiling amount for all MOAs for the entire 20 year period (2010-2029) is valued at $7.4 billion. Also considering the fact that eFAST is a set-aside for small businesses, SEDB 8(a), SDVOSB, WOSB, HUBZone, and 8(a) Indian Tribal Owned and ANC’s, this procurement eliminates the involvement of large businesses allowing potential small business offerors to support FAA and other Federal Government Agency requirements.
There has been a delay in the eFast solicitation process. The Modification released on April 15, 2021, explained the issues surrounding the Open Season (OS) 7 KSN portal and the delay in proposal submissions. The Government affirmed that the system is down for all users and that they are working to resolve the issues. However, amendment 6 to the FAA eFAST 2021 MOA released on June 22 confirms that the open season 7 (OS7) submission application is expected to be up and running from June 28, 2021, onwards. Additionally, this Amendment also revises multiple sections of the SIR. Small Business offerors must keep an eye on the latest developments in this BPA.
2. Polaris GWAC
GSA’s Polaris is a Small Business GWAC through which the Federal Government will be able to procure customized IT solutions from highly qualified Small Businesses in various socioeconomic categories. Replacing Alliant 2 Small Business (Alliant 2 SB) which was canceled in July 2020, Polaris will be entirely focused on modern technology requirements including cybersecurity, emerging technologies, and IT supply chain risk management requirements. Polaris is expected to leverage AI tools, blockchain technology, and XaaS with an anticipated ceiling value of $15-$20B.
Small Businesses interested in providing services to both defense and civilian agencies through Polaris should start preparing for CMMC and SCRM accreditation by implementing the appropriate NIST SP 800-series documents.
This Contract Vehicle is composed of three pools based on size and socioeconomic status: Small Business (SB), HUBZone Small Business, and Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) pool(s).
How you can benefit from Polaris GWAC
Technology-oriented Small Businesses can submit proposals for all pools in which they are eligible and wish to compete for the award(s). This GWAC recognizes the opportunity to utilize the applications of modern technologies and the changing IT landscape.
Within each pool, approximately 60-100 Small Businesses will be awarded and it is anticipated that at any given point in time, a company may not be holding more than one contract, thus allowing equal participation and small business utilization. Considering that this GWAC is focused on innovative solutions utilizing emerging technologies, Polaris comes in as an estimated $15B platform for small business technology leaders to support Federal Government requirements.
According to the Questions and Answers released via GSA Interact on May 25, 2021:
- GSA anticipates 60-100 awards within each pool
- It is not mandatory for offerors to hold a GSA Schedule contract in order to compete for Polaris.
- The sole source authority provided by FAR 19.8 is unique to the 8(a) program.
- Polaris will be utilized by federal agencies as identified within GSA Order OGP 4800.2I.
The Department of the Army’s Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software, and Solutions (CHESS) have a requirement for the fourth iteration of Information Technology Enterprise Solutions (ITES) hardware (ITES-4H). The rationale behind the ITES-4H acquisition is to support global Army enterprise infrastructure and its goals with a full range of innovative, world-class information technology equipment and solutions at a fair price.
ITES-4H will be a major IDIQ contract covering commercial IT products and services, and successor to the previous ITES-3H contract. It is all set to be a great business opportunity for providers of a range of Information Technology (IT) equipment for client, server, storage, and network environments; for related incidental services and software; for maintenance and warranty of legacy IT equipment; and for warranty variations. Offerors are required to support up to a Top Secret security clearance with SCI.
How you can benefit from ITES-4H
As per Bloomberg Government, the Department of the Army spent around $2.2 billion that was disbursed to 17 companies under ITES-3. The successor contract, that is ITES-4, is expected to have a projected program maximum of $10 billion. This contract has a proven record of paying off well, although winning can be a competitive process.
At least seventeen IDIQ contract vehicles are expected, with up to seven of them reserved for Small Business offerors within the competitive range. There may be a limited number of contracts, but if your firm has demonstrated success and competitiveness on similar contract vehicles, ITES-4H is definitely something to consider working towards.
According to the official notice posted on SAM.gov, an RFP is expected to be released mid to late Jun 2021 for a purchase or lease of a full range of IT hardware, software, and related incidental services. If you intend to bid for ITES 4H, the time to start preparing is now. A good place to start is to review Industry Day Q&As and the draft RFP.
According to GovWin, the Contracting Office released a Q&A on February 18, 2021. There has been an extension for 14 months on the incumbent contracts from February 22, 2021, to April 21, 2022, approved by the government. The bridge extension of ITES-3H is required to avoid any lapse in coverage and support between ITES-3H expiration and the ITES-4H award.
4. RISK MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION AWARD FOR THE NEXT GENERATION GLOBAL HEALTH SUPPLY CHAIN PROGRAM (GHSC)
Earlier this year, the US Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), released an RFI seeking inputs from interested applicants in response to the proposed activity approach in the subject draft Statement of Objectives (SOO) for the proposed Strategic Risk Management Procurement under the Next Generation Global Health Supply Chain Suite of Programs (NextGen). The next generation of the GHSC program will be a combination of nine contract vehicles that were split up based upon different GHSC mechanisms. Due to the change in the requirements, this program is not a direct recompete of the previous contracts but a new procurement with an undetermined Competition and Contract type for now.
Under NextGen, USAID intends to award multiple contracts for a base period of ten years. The multiple-award IDIQ contract(s) will come under the Next Generation Global Health Supply Chain Suite of Programs (NextGen). The Next Generation Global Health Supply Chain Suite of Programs (NextGen) will provide a range of essential health commodities through global and local supply chains and strengthen in-country supply chain and pharmaceutical management systems to achieve the highest possible level of health. Moreover, the NextGen Strategic Risk Management (SRM) award will be responsible for providing strategic risk management advice on NextGen operations.
This contract vehicle is still in the pre-solicitation stage, but this is an opportunity to look out for if you have the capability to provide direct operational and capacity development support in technical areas related to the supply chain, such as warehousing, distribution, quantification, forecasting, procurement, transportation, and information systems for health commodities; pharmaceutical services, including cost-effective appropriate medicines use, antimicrobial stewardship, pharmacovigilance, and patient safety, and other pharmacy practices. In addition, this contract vehicle focuses on cross-cutting and systems strengthening approaches as they relate to supply chain and pharmaceutical management, spanning across private sector engagement, stewardship, coordination, financing, governance, and human resources.
How you can benefit from NextGen GHSC:
A total estimated cost/amount range of anywhere between $25 Million to $49.99 Million is expected, as per official sources. This is a great opportunity for eligible businesses to not only do more business but also to contribute to the advancement of the global healthcare sector at large and increase the value of an individual tax contributor by helping eradicate frauds, waste, and diversions.
According to a business forecast on USAID’s official website, the solicitation is expected to be released on 9/30/2021. The Agency also released RFI Q&A’s and GHSC Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) Analysis and Assessment Project document last month. While the anticipated date of award is 11/30/2022, your preparation and participation in the solicitation process as it evolves in the time to come during this year will be a deciding factor in determining whether you will make it or not. The time to start preparing is now!
Still, in the planning stage, General Services Administration’s (GSA) next-generation Services IDIQ, Best-in-Class Multi-Agency Contract (BIC MAC) is expected to replace GSA’s One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) contract vehicle. While the new IDIQ has been referred to as BIC MAC, BIG MAC, Next Generation Services IDIQ, and OASIS 2, GSA has yet to decide on the official contract name, and the funding information is currently unavailable.
BIC MAC is intended to complement GSA’s MAS Contracts, which do not allow for the “full spectrum of acquisition strategies.” GSA anticipates the BIC MAC contract to be one contract organized by domains. At this time, GSA forecasts 9 to 15 domains in the initial release of the contract. Furthermore, just like OASIS, the new IDIQ will allow for all contract pricing types, as well as non-commercial services or a hybrid of commercial and non-commercial services.
The type of services that can be offered through the new service contract is still under deliberation, however, a blog posted on GSA.gov confirms that the ultimate goal of this procurement is to support complex service requirements from the Federal Government. The initial concept domains include Technical and Engineering, Research and Development, Management and Advisory, Financial Services, Logistics, Human Capital, Training, Facilities, Base Operations Support, Public Health, C4ISR, Major Acquisitions, Business Administration, and Legal Social.
How you can benefit from BIC MAC
While GSA explores the utilization of Small Business Reserves, one of the BIC MAC’s priority goals is to reduce contract duplication, which will prove beneficial to the Small Business contractors. Moreover, considering that OASIS accounted for more than $35 billion in sales, the prospects look promising for the new MAC as well.
- A modification released on June 8, 2021, incorporates the “Services MAC Domain Summary PDF” document into the second RFI.
- GSA anticipates releasing a draft RFP, which will include evaluation criteria, in October 2021, and
- Finally, the final RFP is anticipated to be released in June 2022 (Deltek Estimate), pursuant to the feedback received by the agency on the Draft RFP.
What is in these Contract Vehicles for you?
These contract vehicles are a golden opportunity to work with top federal agencies, make a mark in the government marketplace, and take your business to the next level. Our teams are closely monitoring these contract vehicles and tracking all their latest developments.
Bidding for large-scale contract vehicles such as these entails a lot of administrative and resource-intensive exercises for small businesses. iQuasar can help you prepare and guide you through the process of developing a winning proposal. iQuasar supports Small Businesses in bidding for contract vehicles, including GSA MAS, OASIS, GSA FSS, Alliant SB, 8(a) STARS, HCaTS, Navy SEAPORT-E, CATS+, MOBIS, RMAS, other GWACs, and NIH CIO-SP3. Our team is well-acquainted with the federal market and is proactively helping Small Businesses in preparing for it.