“8(a) STARS III” is a small business set-aside contract that provides federal government agencies with total integrated information technology (IT) solutions and support services. The vehicle allows the government access to emerging technologies such as technological convergence and autonomic computing.

As a Best-in-Class (BIC) contract solution, 8(a) STARS allows for several key contract types including Fixed-Price, Labor-Hour, and Time and Material task orders and enables federal agencies to earn small-disadvantaged business (SDB) credit making it an attractive solution relative to other GWACs.

This Multiple Award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (MA-IDIQ) has one five-year base period with one three-year option, started July 2, 2021.

Only contractors who already qualify under the Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) program were eligible for this award. There was no limit to the number of awards on this contract.  

There are three primary proposal considerations:

1. Project experience: Offerors must demonstrate work that falls within scope of the contract;

2. Past performance: Offerors must demonstrate satisfactory past performance; and

3. Price: Offerors must submit fully-burdened labor rates by labor category

The contract provides two scope sub-areas which are available to provide a fair opportunity for task orders requiring either 1) Emerging Technology (ET), or 2) performance outside of an OCONUS location. Ordering contracting officers have discretion in identifying the area/sub-area under which fair opportunity is provided. 

To receive an award in the ET scope sub-area, the offeror must also demonstrate relevant experience providing evolving, state-of-the-art information technologies that are not yet mature in the marketplace and have the potential for widespread adoption. These include: 

1. Artificial intelligence
2. Autonomic computing
3. Blockchain / distributed ledger
4. Quantum computing
5. Robotic process automation
6. Technological convergence
7. Virtual reality

To receive an award in the OCONUS scope sub-area, offerors must demonstrate relevant experience providing information technology services in an OCONUS location, requiring validation through contract documentation (e.g., contract award form, statement of work, etc.) or the use of a Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) report.

Contract ceiling:

  • From Master Contract: “The total maximum quantity of all supplies and services ordered against the Master Contract (for all awardees combined) will not exceed $50 Billion, including any Master Contract Options.”

GWAC Contract Access Fee (CAF):

  • Sales on the vehicle exhibit a CAF of 0.75%, similar to the GSA Schedules program. 

Focus on cybersecurity and supplier governance:

From Master Contract: “Cybersecurity and SCRM are dynamic areas with developing regulations and requirements as evidenced by the publication of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework by the Department of Defense (DoD) in January 2020 as well as National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-161 and SP 800-171. As 8(a) STARS III is a Government-wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) with potential customers of both civilian and defense organizations, it is important for the vehicle to remain relevant in light of changing requirements (see Attachment J-4: Cybersecurity & Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) References).”


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