As IT modernization ‘takes center stage,’ GSA awards Alliant 2 contract to be flexible, meet future needs of agency customers

A decade in the technology world means new inventions, multiple updates and countless threats, which is why the General Services Administration aimed for adaptability with its award for Alliant 2.

GSA on Monday formally announced the 61 winners of its $50 billion multiple award IT services governmentwide acquisition contract [GWAC], an offering that Bill Zielinski, deputy assistant commissioner for IT category management operations, said will serve the government well “as IT modernization takes center stage.”

“When you take a look at a vehicle like this that has an overall five-year base and five-year extension on it as a contract, 10 years is a long time frame within technology,” Zielinski said. “So clearly for us it was very important to be able to have a vehicle in place, a governmentwide acquisition contract, that not only meets today’s needs but also is able to flex and meet the future needs as well.”

GSA posted the the winners on FedBizOpps late Friday afternoon. Zielinski said 170 companies provided bids. The contract’s program manager is Casey Kelley.

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Many of the 61 contract awardees are based around the Beltway, though some hail from across the country and as far away as California.

The A2 contract replaces the original $50 billion Alliant contract, which was awarded in March 2009 to 59 companies.

GSA also is pursuing an Alliant 2 small business as a follow-on to the $15 billion Alliant small business contract, which it awarded to 72 firms in December 2008.

Zielinski said he still anticipated announcing the award by the end of the calendar year.

Both Alliant contracts expire in 2019, and GSA wanted to award Alliant 2 to have some overlap.

“The scope of this GWAC is aligned to the newer Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework Version 2, and we have included new IT services labor categories that align to the Department of Labor standardized IT service labor categories,” Zielinski said.

Zielinski said the Alliant 2 pre-solicitation phase raised the bar for transparency, collaboration, innovation and stakeholder engagement, and the self-scoring source selection methodology used for Alliant 2 — and the OASIS professional services contract — worked by having companies score themselves against the information they provided by GSA.

Zielinski highlighted “significant enhancements” to the Alliant 2 contract. These updates include:

  • flexibility as emerging technologies and the definition of information technology evolve.
  • ancillary support (non-IT) permitted when it is integral to, and necessary for, the IT services-based outcome.
  • on-ramp and off-ramp provisions, ensuring retention of a highly-qualified pool of contractors.

Zielinski said those provisions allow GSA to review and manage the contract’s activity, and if need be provide a “refreshment through an open season” to ensure a competitive provider pool.

Those activities would be something like a significant change in technology, Zielinski said.

“We’re always assessing both the marketplace as well as those pool of providers and ensuring that we have the capabilities within the scope of the contract that matches to the needs of our customer agencies,” Zielinski said. “So that’s the kind of thing that as we’re assessing that marketplace, we can hold an open season to allow for the on-ramping of new technical capabilities.”

Some of those capabilities could be things like artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, Zielinski said.

GSA released the RFP for Alliant 2 on June 26 and made nine amendments. The agency also dealt with four protests related to how it proposed evaluations and the number of awards under the contract.

GAO denied the complaints from four bidders — Sevatec, Inc.; InfoReliance Corp.; Enterprise Information Services, Inc.; Buchanan & Edwards, Inc.

The contract is still in the protest period, but Zielinski said GSA plans to issue a notice to proceed.