The General Services Administration (GSA) is on the brink of announcing awards for the Polaris small business contract vehicle, which will replace the Alliant 2 Small Business. The Polaris contract will feature pools of winners in different small business categories, and agencies will use it to acquire IT solutions and services across a range of performance areas, including cloud, cybersecurity, data management, and information technologies.
The Polaris solicitation was released in early 2021, but pre-award protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) led to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ordering GSA to amend the solicitation and allow bidders to resubmit proposals. On the eve of the new proposal deadline, two companies filed protests with GAO, alleging that GSA was not allowing them to update their past performance and experience information and that GSA’s position favored mentor-protégé firms. However, GAO rejected these protests and sided with GSA, clearing the way for GSA to make what is expected to be hundreds of awards for Polaris.
The contract has no ceiling and can also be used to procure software development and IT operations and maintenance. Despite GAO’s decision, there is still a risk of protests against the final awards. The Polaris contract is expected to revolutionize the way federal agencies acquire IT solutions and services by providing a more streamlined and efficient process for procuring these critical technologies.