• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The Polaris Contract: A Battle of Big and Small Business, with GAO Upholding GSA’s Decision on Past Performance


Feb 13, 2024
Polaris Small Business Contract Approved to Advance

The General Services Administration (GSA) is on the brink of awarding contracts for the Polaris small business contract vehicle, which will replace the Alliant 2 Small Business. The Polaris contract will feature pools of winners in various small business categories and will be used by agencies to procure IT solutions and services across different performance areas, such as cloud, cybersecurity, data management, and information technology.

The solicitation for the Polaris contract was released in early 2021, but pre-award protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) led to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ordering GSA to amend the solicitation and allow bidders to resubmit proposals. On the eve of the new proposal deadline, two companies filed protests with GAO, alleging that GSA was not allowing them to update their past performance and experience information and that GSA’s position favored mentor-protégé firms. However, GAO rejected these protests and sided with GSA, paving the way for GSA to make hundreds of awards for Polaris.

The Polaris contract has no ceiling and can also be used to procure software development and IT operations and maintenance. Despite GAO’s decision, there is still a risk of protests against the final awards.

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