GSA details Alliant RFP

Editor's note: This story was updated at 11:20 a.m. June 13, 2006, to correct the minimum order amount for small businesses under Alliant SB.

Minimum orders under the forthcoming Alliant contracts have been lowered compared with the original draft requests for proposals to make the contracts more useful to midsize businesses, according to General Services Administration officials.

Speaking today at an event Federal Sources Inc. hosted, Alliant program manager Jim Ghiloni said Alliant will have a minimum order size of $1 million, and Alliant SB -- set aside for small businesses -- will have a minimum of $100,000.

In keeping with the Alliant strategy of providing comprehensive information technology solutions, Ghiloni said smaller orders can go through the GSA Schedule or any of several other contract vehicles geared toward smaller, less comprehensive projects.

Ghiloni took the lead in discussing the latest round of draft RFPs. Lisa Akers, director of the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center, and Cathy Beasley, contracting officer for the Alliant programs, joined him.

The event was part of a GSA effort to engage in conversation with industry. Several in the audience asked whether GSA had considered creating separate tiers within Alliant so that midsize firms wouldn’t have to compete head-to-head with large companies. Audience members also raised questions about GSA's plans to evaluate bidding companies’ past performance.

Akers said that the agency considered tiers but chose not to use them to encourage the best companies of all sizes to compete and to simplify the post-award use of the contract.

In response to another question, Ghiloni said small businesses will have to recertify their size at the end of the contract base period, but the agency will also have a mechanism for doing that sooner.

"If we see small businesses being gobbled up by big guys, we'll definitely look at that," he said.

Comments on the RFPs are due to GSA by June 30. The agency expects to issue the final RFPs in October and award the contracts next summer.

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