Small companies face another hurdle on Alliant contract

The 72 small businesses selected today for the Alliant Small Business information technology contract have one more hurdle to clear before they can begin taking orders from agencies, a General Services Administration official said today.

The companies have passed GSA’s bid evaluations process, but GSA and Small Business Administration officials now must check that the firms meet the criteria for being a small business, said Mary Powers-King, GSA’s director of governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs). Because of that, companies ultimately might not get an Alliant Small Business award.

“It does not typically change much, but it is possible that one or two may change based on not being able to be certified as a small business,” Powers-King told reporters.

One company — Kadix Systems — was acquired by Dynamics Research Corp. in August, which could end its eligibility for the contract.

GSA selected 72 small businesses for spots on the Alliant Small Business GWAC — 10 more than in the initial award announced in December 2007. Four companies chosen in 2007 were not selected again because they didn’t meet eligibility requirements or another specific criterion, Powers-King said.

Meanwhile, GSA selected 14 new companies for the latest awards.

Alliant Small Business is worth an estimated $15 billion for the five-year base period and five additional option years, GSA said. The companies will compete for orders placed by agencies under the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract.

The contract promises to open a lot of business opportunities for the small companies. Its value rivals the $17 billion in sales on GSA’s largest schedule contract, Schedule 70.

GSA made the initial Alliant Small Business awards on Dec. 17, 2007, but officials retracted the 62 awards in April after the U.S. Court of Federal Claims revoked GSA’s awards on the larger Alliant contract.

The court found problems with the past-performance information GSA used to determine who received awards. The court ruled that the agency based its evaluations on “sketchy” information and used that information as a major factor in awarding the massive contract.

Although not required by the court, GSA decided to re-evaluate the Alliant Small Business contracts, too. Earlier this year, GSA asked the 62 small businesses to extend their offers.

“Given the history with this, we really want to make sure we’re on very firm and solid ground,” Powers-King said.

The court had chided GSA for diverting from its plan for selecting companies, particularly regarding past performance, when awarding the Alliant contracts in 2007. For the latest round of awards, “we very, very closely adhered to our plan” and included a review of how well officials stuck to the plan, Powers-King said, adding that GSA is confident of its choices for Alliant Small Business.

Companies that weren’t selected have until Dec. 29 to file a protest unless they prefer to be briefed by officials on why they weren’t selected. Powers-King said GSA plans to debrief companies by mid-January.

The 72 small businesses that received awards are:

• Access Systems
• Actionet
• Advanced Alliant Solutions Team
• Advanced Software Systems
• Advanced Systems Development
• Alliant Across America Information Services
• Alliant Alliance
• Alliant Enterprise
• Alliant Information Technologies
• Alliant SB CTA
• Alliant Solutions Partners
• AlliantCorps
• AOC Alliant Technologies
• Applied Information Sciences
• ASRC Management Services
• Avineon
• Bowhead Information Technology Service
• Burke Consortium
• Caelum Research Corp.
• Chenega Advanced Solutions and Engineering
• Creative Alliant
• Creative Computing Solutions
• Cria Group
• DasNet Corp.
• Data Computer Corporation of America
• Data Networks Corp.
• Digital Management
• DKW Communications
• DNT Solutions
• DSD Laboratories
• Electronic Consulting Services
• Energy Enterprise Solutions
• enGenius Consulting Group
• Federal Acquisition Services Alliant
• Federal Innovators Alliance
• Futron
• InfoZen
• Interimage
• Janus Research Group
• Kadix Systems
• Management Technology
• Metrica Team Venture
• Milvets Systems Technology
• n-Link Corp.
• OnPoint Consulting
• Phacil
• PSI International
• Quality Technology
• RX Joint Venture
• SBAlliance Joint Venture
• SBD Alliant
• Sim-G Technologies
• Software Engineering Services Corp.
• Solers
• SP Systems
• Syncrotech Software Corp.
• Synectic Solutions
• Systems Plus
• Telesis Corp.
• TEM Solutions
• Ultra Technologies
• Ventura Group
• Viatech Systems
• Viatech
• Vistronix
• Webster Data Communication
• Z Inc.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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