December 20, 2021–Billions of dollars in federal contracts are spent in the defense ecosystem every year on technology services and equipment purchases across the country. Individual agencies are responsible for vetting contractors, demonstrating efficiency, and maintaining a certain percentage of spending with businesses of various small business classifications. These agencies naturally solicit contracts in whatever way works best for them, be it RFP, OTA, or other GWAC.
The STARS III GWAC offers individual Agencies an excellent contract vehicle to secure customized IT Solutions through a small business. Some attractive contract vehicles, inexplicably, do not get fully utilized, and STARS III falls into that category. STARS III is a GWAC specifically awarded to certified 8(a) companies through the GSA, and there are billions of dollars in award space left on this new contract.
Learn more about AP&O, one of only ~400 companies that won inclusion on the STARS III vendor list.
AP&O Solutions is a certified 8(a) WOSB joint venture. With more than 30 years’ experience, the AP&O Solutions partners, Optimized Technical Solutions (OTS) and All Points Logistics (All Points) offer technological solutions to the space and defense communities, providing confidence to government agencies and contractors that AP&O can navigate their complex processes to get work done.
AP&O’s sole-source benefits include:
- Reduced decision cycle — awarding an 8(a) sole source contract usually only takes days.
- Lowered administration costs — procurement process and time is reduced to a minimum.
- Prices reflect best value — agency negotiates with the firm to get the best value.
- Credit for promoting small business participation within Agency.
- Can initiate a contract with a simple high-level statement of work.
Government agencies need IT services and equipment from reliable private sector sources all the time. Starting RFPs and reviewing performance of individually contracted businesses can be a drain on resources. STARS III provides a list of capable, vetted businesses that assist agencies in fulfilling services and equipment expectations while also supporting a range of small businesses to spur competition and spread economic stimulus beyond the biggest and/or oldest companies.
Two Advantages of STARS III
Flexibility. GSA created this GWAC to account for total IT solutions beyond the scope of predictable technology purchases. The contract offers IT services, ranging from simple to complex, and services-based solutions, s
uch as IT help-desk support, information assurance, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and more. The contract offers a $50 billion program ceiling and five-year base period with one three-year option. This allows for long-term planning of large-scale program requirements. The STARS III contract vehicle also allows flexibility in the way task orders will be paid: fixed-price, cost-reimbursement, labor-hour, and time-and-materials payments may be used, according to the type of products procured. Also, t
here are no size limitations on STARS III task orders. To enhance opportunities for 8(a) firms, sole-source tasks orders are allowed up to the 8(a) competitive threshold of $4.5 million.
Competition Among Uniquely Qualified Vendors. If an Agency were to independently seek to identify truly qualified 8(a) Women-owned Small Business (WOSB), such as AP&O, it could be daunting. The GSA awarded only ~
400 companies to the STARS III contract, based on stringent criteria. For Agency purchasing managers, STARS III is an efficient way to procure a range of IT solutions, earn credits for using 8(a) WOSBs, and offload the vetting of vendors to the GSA.
About STARS III
STARS III is a continuation of a Government Services Administration (GSA) managed Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC), STARS II. A GWAC is a contract vehicle that any government agency can use to purchase a broad range of technology goods and services.
General areas covered by STARS III are:
- Data Management
- IT Security
- Software Development
- Information and Communications Technology
- IT Operations and Maintenance
- Emerging Technologies
- Systems Design
The short answer as to why the GWAC STARS III exists is that its predecessor was a success in awarding over $17 billion in individual task orders. STARS III’s ordering period is July 2, 2021 – July 1, 2029 (if option is exercised) with a $50 billion program ceiling.
Contact Travis Griffin, AP&O Solutions, for your Agency’s complete IT solution.
STARS III Program Manager