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A first look at Alliant 3: what to expect from GSA’s successor to Alliant 2

On Oct. 19, 2022, the General Services Administration (GSA) released a draft request for proposal (RFP) for Alliant 3, its latest Best-in-Class (BIC) Government-wide Acquisition Contracts (GWAC). As a continuation of flagship vehicles Alliant and Alliant 2, Alliant 3 will provide government agencies with integrated IT (information technology) solution services for evolving needs. The focus of the contract vehicle is to solicit existing and future leading-edge technologies.

Contract Details
Agency General Services Administration
Estimated Official RFP Release Date Approximately February 2023. The official RFP will not be released earlier than May 2023.
Contract Vehicle Type Multiple Award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)
Ordering Procedures FAR 16 Ordering Procedures (likely)
Duration 10 years (five base and five option years)
Contract Type Cost reimbursement, firm-fixed-price, time and materials, labor-hour, and hybrids are supported
RFP type Self-scoring

Alliant 3 does not have a maximum dollar ceiling amount unlike its predecessor, Alliant 2, which had a maximum ceiling amount of $75 billion (recently increased from $50 billion). Additionally, an unlimited number of task orders can be placed during the term of the vehicle, including an option (if exercised). The contract contains standard IT labor categories with an expected duration of 10 years. With feedback on the draft RFP due Jan. 6, 2023, it is still unclear when the formal release will take place.

With Alliant 3’s scope aligning with the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) and Department of Defense Information Enterprise Architecture (DoD IEA), the vehicle aims to ensure that federal agency customers have access to the vast range of emerging and existing technologies, products, ancillary services and personnel needed to meet agency goals.

Alliant 3 scoring

Based on the draft RFP, it appears that GSA intends to use a self-scoring approach for Alliant 3. GSA has successfully run several large procurements using the self-scoring model, including OASIS, ASTRO, HCaTS and Alliant 2. Offerors will complete a self-scoring worksheet that considers several factors and will need to provide supporting documentation along with their scorecard so that GSA can verify the points that an offeror is claiming.

GSA intends to make at least 60 awards while also considering the possibility of tied scores. In the event of a tie at the 60th award, all offerors with equal scores will receive an award. Additionally, if a tied score occurs before the 60th award, the two offerors will also receive awards.

In the draft RFP released in October, GSA provided a sample self-scoring worksheet for its Unrestricted contract vehicle (meant for large business organizations). The draft scoring allocations are as follows:

Aliant 3 Self Scoring Worksheet - Unrestricted
Element Max Points Percent
Relevant Experience
NAICS Relevant Experience Projects 17,500 54%
NAICS Relevant Experience Project Size & Complexity 10,500
NAICS Relevant Experience Project - Multiple Agency Awards 3,500
NAICS Relevant Experience Project with Cost-Reimbursement 4,000
NAICS Relevant Experience Project - Fair Opportunity Task Order Award Against a MA/IDIQ Contract 3,000
NAICS Relevant Experience Project in a Foreign Location 1,500
Emerging Technology Relevant Experience Projects 6,600
Breadth of Emerging Technology Relevant Experience 1,500
Engaging Small Business with Emerging Technology Experience 1,000
Past Performance
Past Performance for Relevant Experience Projects 17,500 19%
Systems, Certifications, and Clearances
Systems 7,600 19%
Industry Certifications 6,000
Government Facility Clearances 3,500
Organizational Risk Assessment
Organizational Risk Assessment 7,500 8%
Total Possible Points 91,200  

Relevant experience

Per the draft RFP, prospective offerors will be allowed to demonstrate their experience using a maximum of seven primary relevant experience projects and three Emerging Technology-Relevant Experience (RE) projects.

  • Offerors may submit a maximum of seven distinct Primary Relevant Experience Projects in one of the following NAICS codes:
    – 518210: Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services
    – 541511: Custom Computer Programming Services
    – 541512: Computer Systems and Design Services
    – 541513: Computer Facilities Management Services
    – 541519: Other Computer Related Services
  • A relevant experience project can only be used once.
  • Each project must be ongoing or completed within five years from the date proposals are due.
  • Each Primary Relevant Experience Project must be complete or have at least one year of performance. If at least one year of performance was not completed in the base period, then either an interim or final CPARS, or a completed Award Fee Determination must be available.
  • Individual Project Value must be equal to or greater than $7.5 million.
  • The scoring matrix provides greater points depending on NAICS relevant project value (with projects in excess of $275 million or more fully maximizing points, within the “NAICS Relevant Experience Project Size & Complexity” category).
  • Small businesses or other than a small business (OTSB) that are engaged with small businesses on emerging technology projects could earn 1,000 points (“Engaging Small Business with Emerging Technology Experience” category).
  • Small businesses may use work performed as a subcontractor. However, they may only use the value of the work subcontracted.
  • Offerors may submit a maximum of three Emerging Technology Relevant Experience Projects for each of the Emerging Technologies cited in the draft RFP:
    – Artificial intelligence (AI)
    – Big data
    – Cloud computing
    – Cybersecurity
    – Edge computing
    – Extended reality (XR)
    – Health information technology (HIT)
    – The Internet of Things (IoT)
    – Mobile IT
    – Quantum computing
    – Zero trust networks
  • The Project must have been for the performance of one of the listed Emerging Technologies.
  • No Project may be used more than once within the Emerging Technology Relevant Experience.
    – Note: Projects may be submitted for both Primary Relevant Experience and Emerging Technology Relevant Experience.
  • Each Project must be ongoing or have been completed within five years from the date proposals are due.
  • Project must be complete or have at least one year of performance. If at least one year of performance was not completed in the base period, then either an interim or final CPARS report, or a completed Award Fee Determination document must be submitted.
  • Individual Project value must be equal to or greater than $1 million.

Teaming arrangements and joint ventures

Under Alliant 3, Contractor Teaming Arrangements (CTA) and Joint Ventures (JV) are permitted. According to the draft RFP, offerors may use a contract or task order that was awarded to its existing or previous CTA as a relevant experience project. Depending on the type of relationship, the scoring approach varies. Key items for contractors to consider when entering a CTA or JV:

  • Meaningful relationship commitment letters will be required to verify the relationship that exists between a JV, parent company, affiliate, division and/or subsidiary.
  • In terms of teaming arrangements, an offeror may submit a relevant experience project under an existing or previous CTA. If the CTA is existing, the CTA shall not submit the same relevant experience project under an Alliant 3 proposal.
  • The JV itself and each member must be registered in SAM.gov and have a corresponding UEI number. All proposal submission documents should be in the name of the JV, not its individual members.

Small business subcontracting goals

Alliant 3 has a goal of allocating 50% of subcontracting dollars to small businesses and offerors will be expected to submit individual subcontracting plans. When developing subcontracting plans, offerors should consider the following targets as GSA’s subcontracting goals for the Alliant 3 Master Contract:

Category Planned subcontracting percentage (%)
Total small business 50%
Small disadvantaged business 7%
Women-Owned small business 7%
HUBZone small business 3%
Veteran-Owned small business 3%
Service-Disabled veteran-owned small business 3%

Other unique compliance requirements: supply chain risk management and cybersecurity

Alliant 3 reflects an evolving focus on supply chain risk management (SCRM) and cybersecurity standards by GSA. The draft RFP also presents a possibility for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) requirements for contractors.

How to prepare for Alliant 3

1. Identify potentially relevant experience projects

Work with key personnel in contracts, finance or program management to find as many projects as possible that meet the criteria provided in the draft RFP.

2. Begin accumulating documents

The administrative burden associated with these proposals is significant. We recommend beginning to accumulate the following documentation:

  • For relevant experience projects, identify and organize all contract award documents, statements of work, contract modifications and most recent CPARS. Make sure the contract documents are signed by the cognizant contracting officer.
  • Identify and organize documentation to demonstrate DCAA, DCMA or CFA approval for your company’s accounting system and/or purchasing system.
3. Assign roles and determine responsibilities

To avoid confusion when the solicitation is released, it is best to get the personnel question answered first:

  • Who is responsible for checking beta.sam.gov and the GSA website for any pre-solicitation updates?
  • Who will be the lead program sponsor, contracts manager, finance manager and proposal manager?
  • Who will communicate the status of Alliant 3 to leadership?
  • Does your team need to outsource support to ensure a compliant proposal?
4. Assess the risk/benefit of all proposal strategies (e.g., CTA, JV)

Have a preliminary dialogue with possible JV organizations or prime contractors/subcontractors.

5. Read the draft RFP and respond with your firm-specific questions

Prior to the release of the final RFP, GSA has indicated it will hold a virtual pre-proposal conference to provide an overview of the RFP. The conference date will be announced on SAM.gov, so prospective offerors should continue to monitor SAM.gov closely.

Leo Alvarez
Principal

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