GSA Awards Over 400 IT Contracts to 8(a) Small Businesses
June 3, 2004
Contact: Viki Reath (202) 501-1231
WASHINGTON, DC--The U. S. General Services Administration’s Federal Supply Service today announced the award of over 400 information technology contracts to 8(a) certified small businesses. The new 8(a) Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resources for Services [8(a) STARS] is a Government Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) designed to help small businesses become successful partners selling to the federal government www.gsa.gov/8astars.
“We at GSA are proud to offer this new portfolio of certified 8(a) small business firms to help the government meet its technology requirements as well as its socioeconomic goals,” said FSS Commissioner Donna D. Bennett. “This new contract vehicle furthers GSA’s already strong commitment to supporting small business.”
The 8 (a) STARS GWAC offers federal agencies a complete set of pre-qualified, 8(a) certified firms to meet their information technology services requirements. Agencies that use the STARS contracts receive 8(a) and other small business credit toward their procurement preference goals.
Individual GSA GWAC centers can authorize contracting officers direct order authority for their specific GWACs to any Federal contracting officer who successfully completes GSA's free continuing education unit (CEU) certified training course for that GWAC. CEU certified training is a hallmark of GSA’s efforts to help contracting officers maintain the integrity of the acquisition process. GSA has also applied an extensive contract review and approval process to all of its offerings to ensure that federal agencies have the best and latest contract resources available.
The new 8(a) STARS, managed by GSA’s Small Business Government Wide Acquisition Contracts Center in Kansas City, MO, builds on the achievements of its predecessor contract, 8(a) FAST, which is scheduled to expire October 31, 2004. Awarded as 8(a) Federal Acquisition Services for Technology contracts in 1997, these contracts proved to be a tremendous success for the 8(a) business community and the federal government, providing 8(a) contract holders with more than 14,000 orders worth nearly $2 billion in sales since the contracts’ inception.
One of the major changes from 8(a) FAST is an expansion of functional areas, from one to eight based on the North American Industrial Classification System, including services such as computer programming, computer facilities management, computer systems design, data processing and telecommunications. 8(a) STARS is a seven-year contract, with a three-year base period and two 2-year option periods. A nationwide rollout is planned, with training opportunities for federal agencies and industry partners.
The award of 8(a) STARS offers many of the awardees an initial opportunity to compete in the federal marketplace. The 8(a) program is a Small Business Administration certification program that offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged firms. Firms require certification by SBA before offering on the new GWAC. Additional information about 8(a) STARS is available on the Web at www.gsa.gov/8astars or by calling (877) 327-8732.
GSA is a centralized federal procurement, property management and policy agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. It also plays a key role in developing and implementing governmentwide policies. GSA, comprised of 13,000 associates, provides services and solutions for the office operations of over one million federal workers located in more than 8,000 government-owned and leased buildings in 2,000 U.S. communities.