GSA seeks Alliant input from midsize firms

Alliant Mid-Sized Business RFI

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The General Services Administration has invited midsize businesses to comment on GSA’s Alliant contract under a request for information the agency has issued.

GSA wants feedback on the best approach to allow midsize businesses access to Alliant, a governmentwide acquisition contract that is expected to be awarded in 2007.

Although no formal definition for midsize businesses exists, industry advocates believe such companies have a difficult task in winning federal contracts. They are too big to qualify for small-business advantages and too small to compete directly with larger firms.

Alliant will have a companion contract set aside for small businesses, but midsize businesses won't be able to use it. "GSA wants to provide adequate opportunity for medium-sized businesses on Alliant, aside from the opportunities through teaming and joint ventures that can be undertaken by both small and medium-sized businesses," states the RFI, published on FedBizOpps.gov yesterday.

The first task the RFI sets is defining a midsize business. The document refers to a Government Accountability Office report that defined such businesses as those with annual revenues ranging from $21 million to $500 million.

"Most of the medium-size businesses receiving orders are those with annual revenues between $21 million and $100 million," the RFI states. "GSA’s experience is that the majority of Millennia Lite contractors are between $21 million and $200 million in annual [information technology] revenue."

Finally, the Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards defined midsize businesses as having annual revenue less than $500 million, according to the RFI.

Accordingly, GSA asked for comments specifically about:

  • The various definitions of midsize businesses mentioned in the RFI.

  • Alternative definitions, including the reasoning for the definition and documentation.

  • Whether there is a public interest in restricting a portion of Alliant solely to midsize companies.

  • The ability of midsize businesses to use Alliant without functional area divisions. Alliant SB will be divided into multiple functional areas, but the plan is for Alliant itself to not be divided.

  • The evaluation criteria GSA will use to ensure the contract gets a full spectrum of industry partners, including midsize businesses.

  • The nature of competing for task orders without functional area divisions.

The deadline for comments is March 23.

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