Small biz gets Alliant slice

General Services Administration officials today guaranteed a cut of Alliant for small businesses.

Alliant, a governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) that GSA officials have been developing for more than a year, will be accompanied by a small-business set-aside contract, officials said.

Under the strategy announced this afternoon, Alliant will be open to all bidders, while the other, called Alliant Small Business, will be set aside.

GSA officials will submit their business case to the Office of Management and Budget next month. Both contracts will last for 10 years and carry a combined maximum value of $65 billion. The draft requests for proposals are also expected in March, with final RFPs to follow in the summer.

Alliant will replace several GWACs that will expire soon, and it will offer a full range of information technology services. Agencies that use the contracts will have several vendors to choose from when they need to purchase services.

GSA officials began talking about Alliant at the beginning of 2004, after analyzing the multiple GWACs that the agency maintained and targeting some for elimination or consolidation. Then, the talk faded and after several months with no additional information forthcoming, procurement observers wondered what was happening with the contract.

GSA Administrator Stephen Perry said the Get It Right initiative, launched last year to ensure that GSA employees use contracts correctly, had an influence on the Alliant strategy.

"We have worked with stakeholders to develop the best approach," Perry said. "We have taken all the necessary steps up front, so that as many issues as possible will be resolved, even before we issue the draft RFP."

"This is an important win for small business that will help to advance President Bush's small-business agenda, as it relates to federal procurement," said Small Business Administration Administrator Hector Barreto, in a written statement. "The SBA is also gratified by GSA's efforts to provide opportunities for this vital sector of the U.S. economy. The dual tracks will give small-business prime contractors their own contract vehicle, and will go a long way toward helping federal agencies achieve their small-business contracting goals."

GSA's Enterprise GWAC Center in San Diego manages the Alliant procurement. The Small Business GWAC Center in Kansas City, Mo., manages the Alliant Small Business procurement.

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