Research Report

Alliant GWAC Used for Some CDM Needs

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took a different route with the last group of agencies covered under the second contract task order. It opted for a shared services strategy, instead of the direct order approach using the GSA BPA as it did with the previous five groups.

GSA’s Alliant government-wide acquisition contract (GWAC) will cover task order 2F, released in December 2015. This is a 10-year contract with a $50 billion ceiling awarded in May 2009 to replace several of GSA’s expired GWACs. It supports a variety of IT services programs, and has proven particularly attractive to agencies looking for new and emerging technologies.

Groups A through E cover either single large agencies or a number of mid-size agencies. Group F pools 42 of the remaining smaller agencies. This includes organizations such as the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. International Trade Commission. The needs of these agencies to comply with CDM program requirements vary widely. Many of them have little infrastructure in place and few IT resources.

These agencies will be able to choose from any of the 80 or so vendors who hold Alliant contracts to fulfill their CDM needs. The other five groups awarded individual task order contracts under the GSA BPA to Knowledge Consulting Group, Booz Allen Hamilton (which was awarded two of the task order contracts), HP Enterprise Services and Northrop Grumman.

In another departure from the norm, the agencies in Group F will be able to cover needs for both Phases 1 and 2 as a way of making up lost time in issuing the task order. Other groups of agencies will buy only tools and services to meet requirements for Phase 1 of the CDM program.

The Alliant contractor “shall design, build and operate a CMaaS (continuous monitoring as a service) solution for the agencies” in Group F, states the task order RFP. The solution will include all necessary tools, sensors and integration support services.

Secure shared services will be the platform for delivering these. That shared services solution “must recognize and incorporate the IT governance models at participating agencies [that] may or may not have a centralized acquisition model,” the RFP says. “Small agencies may also leverage shared acquisition offices for cost savings purposes or utilize a centralized-like model without having the benefit of an official acquisitions office.”

The GSA’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center expects this CDM shared service platform to “yield significant benefits.”

The task order also says all tools and sensors have to be bought off the BPA contract, and provided for the 2F task order with no markup or fee beyond the purchase price. The GSA’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (FEDSIM), which issued the task order, expects this CDM shared service platform to “yield significant benefits” for those Group F agencies. Those benefits will include cost savings, reduced impacts to infrastructure and reliable service levels, along with the intended security improvements.

There had been earlier speculation that if the Group F task order were to use shared services, any viable solution to use that kind of a platform may also be used by vendors to deliver Phase 2 capabilities to Group A through E agencies. However, FEDSIM executives have shot that down.

“This is really about the unique requirements [for Group F] and how we are going to deliver something for that,” says Chris Hamm, FEDSIM director, at a 2015 Federal Computer Week CDM conference. “I don’t see future activity moving outside of that.”