GSA awards small firms FAST $3.6B

The General Services Administration's National Capital Region has selected 40 small and disadvantaged vendors to receive contracts totaling as much as $3.6 billion for information technology integration services and products.[

]The awards worth up to $90 million apiece and some of which are still awaiting approval by the Small Business Administration were made under the auspices of GSA's Federal Acquisition Services for Technology (FAST) program. Francis Jones deputy director of the national FAST program said he expects to select an additional 40 vendors within the next two weeks.[

]Jones said each award will run five years and give 8(a) vendors an opportunity to compete for task orders submitted to the National Capital Region's FAST program office. GSA will determine whether the tasks can best be performed by a GSA schedule vendor companies holding other governmentwide contracts or one of the 8(a) vendors.[

]The region's FAST program office also awarded this month a blanket purchase agreement worth up to $100 million to a team headed by Government Micro Resources Inc. Manassas Va. The team consists of seven companies that hold multiple-award schedule contracts and will serve as an alternative to the 40 indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contracts.[

]The National Capital Region's announcement came two weeks after GSA's Heartland regional headquarters in Kansas City Mo. awarded 63 8(a) contracts under its own FAST program. The two GSA regional offices will compete for FAST business and other GSA regions may follow with their own awards.[

]Claude Garmon director of the FAST program said he does not expect the other GSA regional offices to award contracts under the FAST program as extensively as the National Capital and Heartland regions. But he said regions may team up to award additional IDIQ contracts or BPAs.[

]He described the jockeying for position now taking place among GSA regions as a process of collaborative competition. "As long as they conform to regulations the regions can be flexible in serving their customers " Garmon said. "The program will work best if we allow regions to assist each other and better utilize resources."[

]GSA is planning to establish a FAST site on the World Wide Web where program officials will post agencies' task orders. Vendors will check the site and offer bids via the Web.[

]With more than 100 small businesses winning IDIQ contracts through the FAST program vendors will be forced to actively market their services to agencies said Sherman Ragland president of Tradewinds International Inc. Washington D.C. which specializes in business process re-engineering and integration services and was one of the 40 National Capital Region award winners.[

]Ragland said his company already holds contracts with federal agencies as well as a GSA schedule contract and he hopes to use its existing relationships to beat out the competition for work on the FAST program. "Once we are selected we still have to compete for the business " he said. "So I think any company using this program as an entry into the federal government is going to be a lot less successful than those that have relationships."[

]Jorge Hartman president of Jorge Scientific Corp. Arlington Va. said her company will offer an array of integration engineering and consulting services via FAST. Although she said GSA is awarding contracts to too many vendors she believes her company can win business by being aggressive.

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