GSA announces 8(a) STARS III GWAC
On June 17, the U.S. General Services Administration announced that it has awarded the first phase of the 8(a) STARS III Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). The 8(a) STARS GWACs are known governmentwide as best-in-class, easy-to-use, streamlined procurement solutions to purchase information technology services from 8(a) prime contractors. This fourth-generation GWAC includes an even greater focus on emerging technologies as well as performance outside of the continental United States (OCONUS). The STARS III contract has a ceiling of $50 billion.
GSA’s 8(a) STARS GWACs leverage a long-standing partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to support the development of 8(a) firms and provide federal agencies a way to deliver mission-critical IT services working with small, disadvantaged businesses. STARS III will deliver opportunities to these firms and will drive progress on important public policy objectives including the President’s Executive Order 13985 On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government as we work to improve diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.
“This fourth generation 8(a) GWAC represents GSA’s long-term commitment to supporting our nation’s small businesses in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration,” said GSA Acting Administrator Katy Kale. “STARS III will create opportunities for small disadvantaged businesses that have solid expertise in providing advanced and emerging technologies to the federal government.”
“The 8(a) STARS GWAC program represents an inclusive opportunity for small, disadvantaged firms to compete within the federal marketplace and gain valuable experience in navigating agency requirements” said GSA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Associate Administrator, Exodie C. Roe, III. “More than $18 billion has been awarded through GSA’s 8(a) GWACs, and many successful firms have graduated from the SBA’s 8(a) Program to compete on a larger scale. GSA joins SBA in looking forward to seeing this next-generation contract provide excellent opportunities for small, disadvantaged businesses.”
8(a) STARS III represents GSA’s efforts to support small businesses while meeting ever-evolving agency requirements. The enhancements on this iteration of the STARS GWAC focus on meeting agency needs for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotic process automation and more. 8(a) STARS III also incorporates a designated scope sub-area for OCONUS requirements.
Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner, Sonny Hashmi, emphasized “GSA is rolling out this new contract vehicle in cohorts, balancing the need to provide innovative products and services that agencies require quickly, with the intent to on-board the broadest number of small businesses over time. Through this strategy, GSA can start to create an immediate positive impact to our partner agencies’ mission, while increasing opportunities for our small business partners.”