The General Services Administration is in the final stages of awarding the Polaris Small Business Contract Vehicle, which will replace the Alliant 2 Small Business. The Polaris contract will have multiple winners in various small business categories and will be used by agencies to procure IT solutions and services in different performance areas such as cloud, cyber, data management, and information technology.
The solicitation for Polaris was released in early 2021, but there were pre-award protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), leading to the US Court of Federal Claims ordering GSA to amend the solicitation and allow bidders to resubmit proposals. Two companies filed protests with GAO, alleging that GSA would not allow them to update their past performance and experience data, and that GSA’s position favored mentor-protégé firms. However, GAO rejected these protests and sided with GSA, clearing the way for GSA to make what is expected to be hundreds of awards to Polaris.
The contract has no ceiling and can be used to procure both software development and IT operations and maintenance. Despite GAO’s decision, there remains a risk of protests against the final awards.