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The draft RFP for Alliant 3 was released in late October 2022 and may be found via the site [search for Notice ID 47QTCK22N001]. The GSA anticipates leaving the response period for the draft open for comments until January 6, 2023. After that, it is anticipated that GSA acquisition will undertake a series of rewrites and adjustments to address comments. The final bid package appears slated for a March/April 2023 release and will carry a $75B estimated award ceiling.

Alliant 3 is the follow-on program from Alliant 2, which had an award ceiling of $30B but was focused on large, diversified contractors. The awardee list, of which there are about forty (40) firms, represents the who’s who of government contracting across the large business landscape. Small business participation was limited to subcontracting.

Alliant 3 introduces several key attributes that are new and different when compared to Alliant 2. These attributes include the use of Enhanced Task Order Competition authority to set prices at the order level, the inclusion of Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) requirements, and Section 876 authority for agencies to contracts at an hourly rate without considering price in the evaluation.

Enhanced Task Order Competition Authority

In Section 843 of the 2008 Defense Authorization Act, the Government provided “Enhanced Competition Requirements for Task and Delivery Order Contracts”. At its core, these requirements are intended to increase competition for task and delivery order contracts.  Most notably, the law allows a contractor to protest a task order in excess of $10 million to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Previously, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (“FASA”) prohibited task order protests, except in very limited circumstances.  In addition, the new law requires that DOD task or delivery order contracts in excess of $100 million be awarded to multiple contractors, with certain exceptions, and the establishment of enhanced competition requirements, such as a requirement for debriefings on task or delivery orders in excess of $5 million under such multiple award contracts. 

Supply Chain Risk Management Requirements

With the supply chain challenges that emerged during the COVID pandemic, the Government has embedded a requirement for offerors across most GWAC-IDIQs to address supply chain risk management processes. The SCRM requirements manifest within a solicitation in the form of an evaluated element for the mitigation of risks associated with the purchase and deployment of contract material required to perform services or provide products specific to the Scope of Work (SOW). The SCRM section within a technical proposal response appears to be a relatively permanent fixture within proposal builds for the foreseeable future. Potential respondents should review the Federal Acquisition Supply Chain Security Act (Effective September 1, 2020).

Section 876 Authority

The implementation of Section 876 refers to the authorization of civilian agencies within the context of multiple award contracts for services to acquire such services on an hourly basis without the consideration of price as an evaluation factor at the contract (GWAC, IDIQ) level. The intent of Section 876 is to increase competition in a favorable manner to the government which is intended to reduce barriers of entry for small business. The inclusion of Section 876 in various full and open solicitation is intended to foster subcontracting opportunities in those areas that small business bring innovations that large businesses may not, thus allowing these capabilities (in theory) to directly reach the federal market.
The first application of Section 876 authority took place in GSA’s ASTRO solicitation for manned, unmanned, and robotic platforms. GSA ASTRO was comprised of ten separate, individual, Multiple Award (MA), Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts that had three pools: (a) Air, (b) Space, and (c) Ground.

The Path Forward

Alliant 3 is a full/open procurement in which large businesses will seek teaming partners, small businesses, that provide subtle innovations and augment the prime’s capabilities. Small businesses that wish to participate in the Alliant 3 procurement should begin, without delay, to market themselves to large primes that operate within the 541512 (Computer Systems Design Services) classification. Moreover, as a general action item, the SCRM is likely here to stay. Firms large and small should take a proactive stance in addressing this requirement by drafting a SCRM plan that can be customized by solicitation requirement. It is widely predicted that SCRM plans will be required across most major procurements, to include GSA OASIS +, DLA JETS 2.0, NASA SEWP VI, and GSA Ascend (all of these are slated for 2023 FY release).

To facilitate the development of SCRMs plans, RWCO is in the process of developing SCRM response templates that meet the required elements for GWAC IDIQs across all agencies. The template(s) will be made available via our templates library, available here. The templates will provide the structure and content for a comprehensive and compliant SCRM narrative that affords the offer the ability to further customize the section while eliminating concerns over compliance in addressing SCRM requirement subject areas. The SCRM template will ease the burden of generating this new proposal section.

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