GSA may have a second round of STARS contracts

The General Services Administration plans to launch a second version of its governmentwide technology contract set aside for small businesses, an agency official said today.

GSA officials agreed in a meeting yesterday that the success of the Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resources for Services (STARS) governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) was strong enough to warrant following up with another contract, said Mary Powers-King, GSA’s director of GWACs.

“STARS has been very, very successful and has been well used by our customers,” she said.

As of Nov. 30, 2008, STARS' sales totaled $1.6 billion since 2004, and sales have reached $550 million in 2008, according to GSA.

STARS, which was awarded in 2004, expires in 2011. The agency will begin work this year to develop the proposal for STARS II, she said.

STARS is a small-business set-aside contract offering IT products and services. There are more than 200 companies on STARS, which links those small businesses with agencies needing IT support.

In June 2007, GSA didn't renew the contracts with 197 of the original 416 companies on the GWAC. A clause in the contract required companies to reach $100,000 in sales during the contract’s three base years. If a firm missed that measurement, GSA would not exercise the contract’s option years, which is what happened with those 197 companies, officials said. The majority of companies that lost out on the contract had no sales.

When STARS was introduced, officials said they didn't have the option to write provisions in the contract to allow companies to join or be removed from the contract, known as “on ramps” and “off ramps.” GSA officials would like that option for the next round of STARS.

“We think that’s a good way to go,” Powers-King said.

About the Author

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

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