Are you a small business contractor providing products and services to the federal government in the IT space? Well, there’s good news for you: the General Services Administration (GSA) has released a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the next iteration of its Alliant IT solutions and services contract vehicle.
Alliant 3 – the third iteration of Alliant from GSA – is an unrestricted, Best-in-Class (BIC), Multiple-Award, Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) with an estimated ceiling of $75 billion, offering complete and flexible IT solutions worldwide. The government intends to make 60 awards under Alliant 3. Awardees will have the planned benefit of a 10-year term and no ceiling master contract on Alliant 3.
Alliant, the forerunner of Alliant 2, was established in 2007 to attain various federal government product and service requirements in the IT sector. The vehicle, now a mainstay of the Federal IT market, served as the impetus for many of the government’s broad IT modernization initiatives during the past ten years.
Since its launch, Alliant 2 has been used by more than 100 federal entities, according to GSA. Alliant 2, released in 2018, has grown to be one of the government’s biggest “Best-in-Class” procurement methods. According to recent reports, the $50 billion maximum has been approached by a little under $12 billion, with 471 work orders given to the 43 GWAC industry partners.
On October 21, 2022, the General Services Administration (GSA) released the draft RFP and Notices to Offerors for Alliant 3 that included Section C, Descriptions, Specifications, & Statement of Work; Section L, Instructions, Conditions, & Notices to Offerors; Section M, Evaluation Factors for Award, Cybersecurity and SCRM References, Attachment J-4; Self-Scoring, J.P-1 Document Verification and Self Scoring Worksheet; Labor Category Descriptions, Attachment J-3; Small Business Elements, and Subcontracting Performance Metrics: G.22.1 and J.5.B.
What will Alliant 3 cover?
The master contract allows maximum flexibility in acquiring an IT service-based solution for any conceivable IT service-based requirement while adhering to the “Anything IT Anywhere” philosophy. The scope of the draft RFP includes every imaginable aspect of IT services, including but not limited to the following:
As per the draft RFP, relevant experience has been divided into two separate categories:
NAICS Group Project: This relevant experience category is primarily related to projects under NAICS listed below:
- 518210—Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services
- 541511—Custom Computer Programming Services
- 541512—Computer Systems Design Services
- 541513—Computer Facilities Management Services
- 541519—Other Computer Related Services
Emerging Technology Projects: This relevant experience category is primarily related to projects under different emerging technologies, which include AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Edge Computing, Extended Reality (XR), Health Information Technology (HIR), the Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile IT, Quantum Computing, and Zero Trust Networks.
According to the draft RFP, offerors must submit the following volumes:
Similar to Polaris, GSA has used the Document Verification and Self Scoring Worksheet for evaluating the proposals of offerors and has released Attachment J.P-1, Self Scoring Worksheet, as a separate file on SAM.gov. Some of the highlights of the draft self-scoring table are given below:
- For each NAICS relevant experience project, a point value of 2500 has been given, and the offeror can score well in this category by submitting seven relevant experiences.
- A set threshold of dollar values for the identified project has been given, with scoring limited to a maximum of seven projects. The projects with a dollar value greater than or equal to $275 million will be given a maximum point value of 1500.
- Additional points have been allotted to the projects that demonstrate experience with multiple agencies, are cost-reimbursable, are task orders awarded against a Multiple Award/Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (MA/IDIQ), and are performed at foreign locations.
- For positive ratings of past performances, 17,500 points will be allotted.
- Given that the offeror has previously performed in the proposed business arrangement, 7500 points have been assigned to the organizational risk assessment.
Who can bid for it?
Both contractors who currently hold an Alliant 2 and newcomers who can develop a high-scoring proposal should bid on Alliant 3.
What are the benefits of Alliant 3?
- Improved performance standard
- Increased focus on small business through subcontracting plans, performance standards, and evaluation factors
- Enhance environmental and sustainability plans
- Enhance the customer experience
- Streamline proposal evaluations
- Increase IT modernization opportunities
- Provision for open seasons
Alliant 3 will reduce the acquisition burden for both the government and industry. By utilizing highly qualified vendors and an efficient purchasing process, federal agencies can meet their complex service needs while having access to the Best-in-Value and Best-in-Class (BIC) IT solutions.
Even though Alliant 3 is an Unrestricted opportunity, Small Businesses, including veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone-designated, small disadvantaged enterprises, and women-owned, will get more access to opportunities in federal contracting through enhanced small business subcontracting requirements.
Expanding highly skilled contractors’ access to BIC contracts while improving small business prospects at both the master and subcontracting levels would enhance the selling experience. Only Other Than Small Businesses covered by the master contract are required to meet the small business subcontracting goals listed in Section G.22. Attachment J-5.B, Small Business Subcontracting Performance-based Evaluation Program, provides more information on PWS requirements.
When is it expected to be released?
GSA has anticipated that the official RFP will be released in the calendar year (CY) 2023. The estimated release date for the official RFP will be announced in February 2023, soon after the comprehensive review of feedback from the draft RFP is complete. Prior to the final RFP release, GSA indicated that it would deliver an online pre-proposal conference and provide an overview of the Alliant 3 RFP. GSA will announce the date of the conference on SAM.gov. The official RFP will not be released earlier than May 2023.
The government encourages interested contractors to go through the draft solicitation and provide feedback using the attached Alliant 3 GWAC Draft RFP Response Template prior to January 31, 2023. The “Draft RFP Response Template” needs to be sent to the following email address: A3DraftRFP@gsa.gov.
How can you start preparing for Alliant 3?
The final RFP for Alliant 3 is anticipated to be available to the public in 2023 (CY). Early preparation and strategizing are extremely important.
- Evaluate the Market and Assess your Past Performance Portfolio: You can start by evaluating the market first. This includes going over Alliant 3 Market, examining the NAICS, and determining how they relate to your project portfolio (past and current projects). You must be aware of the various scoring criteria mentioned in the RFP scoring sheet and how each project fulfills them.
- Find the Right Teaming Partners: To position oneself better, you may also find possible teaming partners early on and communicate with them.
- Set Up your Proposal Team: You must organize a team, give roles and tasks to the proposal team, and include your organization’s leadership in creating your proposal execution plan for Alliant 3. The proposal execution process will come next, so get started early, create a compliance matrix, make sure all proposal criteria are met, and present your value propositions.
- Stay Updated: You must continue to pay attention to GSA updates going forward to see how the proceedings go. After that, you may keep involved with the GSA by sending the agency your views and suggestions while participating in industry days.
With Alliant 3, small businesses have the potential to join forces with GSA and establish their presence in the federal market. At iQuasar, our team of experts make this process much simpler by offering support for specific bidding requirements like Polaris, OASIS+ (GSA BIC MAC), CATS+, CIO-SP4, Evolve, 8(a) STARS, RMAS, HCaTS, SEAPORT-E and other GWACs. Our specialists are up-to-speed on all updates related to Alliant 3 and provide comprehensive assistance throughout each step of your journey. Our team of professionals will oversee the entire procedure while assisting you in determining your eligibility, increasing your proficiency levels, developing a proposal development strategy specifically tailored to your organization’s needs, and delivering a strong and compliant proposal response that will aid in your success.