By Global Services on Friday, August 15, 2019
If your company is an 8(a) and provides IT Services, GSA’s Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resource for Services (STARS) III contract should be on your radar. The STARS III Government Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) provides customers across the Government with an easy, pre-screened way to purchase from the top 8(a) IT firms. GSA’s release of the Draft Solicitation is an important step forward in the acquisition process, and provides an opportunity for industry to weigh in on the solicitation requirements. If you’re qualified for and interested in STARS III, now is the time to start preparing your bid. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the Scope of Work for STARS III, what’s required in a proposal, and additional resources and next steps to help you evaluate this opportunity.
What kind of work does STARS III include?
STARS III’s scope of work covers IT services in six overarching Functional Areas (FAs):
- FA1: Custom Computer Programming Services. This FA involves writing, modifying, testing, and supporting software for a particular customer’s needs.
- FA2: Computer Systems Design Services. This FA involves planning and designing computer systems integrating hardware, software, and communications technologies.
- FA3: Computer Facilities Management Services. This FA involves providing on-site management and operation of client computer systems and/or data processing facilities.
- FA4: Other Computer Related Services. This FA involves providing computer related services not covered in FAs 1-3. Examples include disaster recovery services or software installation services.
- FA5: Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services. This FA involves providing infrastructure for hosting or data processing services.
- FA6: Emerging Technology-Focused IT Services. This FA involves IT-based emerging technology innovation. Examples include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Autonomic Computing (AC), Blockchain, Digital Assistants, and more.
How do I know if I qualify for STARS III?
To submit a bid for STARS III, your firm must be an 8(a). You may also bid as an 8(a) Joint Venture (JV), an SBA 8(a) Mentor-Protégé JV, or a prime-subcontractor team where all members are 8(a)s.
In addition, offerors must provide 1-3 Relevant Experience Project references for each FA they wish to pursue.
- Each project may only be used for ONE FA (i.e., it is not permissible to say a project counts as both FA1 and FA2).
- Projects must be ongoing with at least one year of performance complete, OR must have been completed no more than two years before the proposal due date.
- Each project must be valued no less than $1M.
- IDIQs and BPAs in themselves do not count as “projects.” Instead, each TO under that IDIQ or BPA would be a “project.” Simply holding an IDIQ or BPA does not count.
Additionally, offerors must provide 1-5 Past Performance ratings with an “Acceptable” or better score. These 1-5 projects must be drawn from the Relevant Experience Projects discussed above. Remember, when writing project narratives, make sure to avoid these three pitfalls.
Please note that there are additional items required to bid (pricing, responsibility materials, etc.) which are not discussed here. The above is intended to help you quickly assess whether you can qualify for STARS III; it is not an exhaustive list of proposal requirements.
I’m interested in bidding on STARS III – what are my next steps?
First, we recommend reviewing the Draft Solicitation, available here. As part of the solicitation package, the Government has provided a template for questions/comments on the Draft Solicitation.
If you have questions or comments for the Government regarding the Draft Solicitation, they must be submitted to S3@gsa.gov, using the provided response template, by 3:00pm Central time, September 6, 2019.
You may also wish to review GSA’s resources page for the previous STARS II GWAC. While the resources at this page are from the PREVIOUS version of this GWAC, they may still help you get a better sense of the STARS program.
Finally, contact Global Services today to find out how we can help you with your STARS III bid!