Polaris” is the name GSA has chosen for its new small business GWAC.  Whether your business is large or small, what happens with Polaris could impact your government business.  Here are some key points beyond the basics: 

1. Timing is Key:  GSA says that they are working toward a draft RFP “within the next few months”.  Not good enough.  We’ve written before that “Across Five Aprils” is a great title for a Civil War book, but it is no longer acceptable for GWAC formation.  The agency wants to be innovative.  That should spur faster timelines, especially so if they elect to forego contract-level pricing.  We challenged the agency to aim for April 30, 2021 awards recently and we’re sticking to thattimeline.  A fast GWAC with innovative small businesses would grab everyone’s attention. 

2.  The Possibility of a Non-Priced Contract:  Agency officials have publicly stated that they are considering doing away with contract-level pricing per “Section 876” authority given to the agency several years ago by Congress.  Notably, GSA says this approach would be “most ambitious”, but, coupling it with a pilot for the Schedules program, would give the agency a broader sample of contracts to determine how this authority drives contract use and customer satisfaction.  

3.  Expanding the Industrial Base:  The GSA announcement is full of references to reaching out to companies not now doing government business.  The agency wants the latest technology and will offer frequent on-ramps to keep competition and innovation high. 

4.  Using Internal Technology to Drive Contract Management:  GSA is serious about using technology to streamline their internal contract management procedures.  This topic is frequently discussed in reference to GSA Schedule contracts, but is also a priority for FAS Commissioner Julie Dunne.  What happens here could impact how other GSA contracts are managed.  Pay attention.