The General Services Administration released the final requests for proposals for the second generation of its Alliant vehicles, governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs) that offer IT services like teleconferencing, data center consolidation and 24-hour helpdesks.

Vendors now have two months to read through the Alliant 2 Unrestricted and Alliant 2 Small Business RFPs — which have a combined ceiling of $50 billion — and put together proposals for submission by the Aug. 29 deadline.

FedBizOps: Alliant 2 Unrestricted | Small Business

The size of the RFPs are equal to the contracts' massive ceiling. The main unrestricted RFP is 338 pages long, with an additional 13 supporting documents. The small business RFP is another 174 pages, with 11 supporting documents.

Despite the RFP's size, GSA officials urged respondents to read the whole way through and in the past have warned against developing proposals based on drafts.

Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of GSA's Integrated Technology Services business line, reiterated that advice on Twitter after the release of the final RFPs.

The $50 billion ceiling is an ambitious one. The current Alliant GWACs have recorded a combined $17 billion in sales since 2009, though GSA contracting officials expect to see significant growth over the coming years.

"We are seeing a positive trend of agencies — such as Defense Health Agency and United States Special Operations Command — committing billions of dollars in IT spend to their future use of GSA contract vehicles, GWACs and schedules," said Casey Kelley, Alliant 2 program manager and acting director of GSA's GWAC programs. "GSA's proven track record of strong and successful GWACs, along with a shift toward fewer duplicative and redundant contracts across government, could lead to dramatic increased use of Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business in the future and the need for a higher ceiling value over their respective periods of performance."

The contracts are also designed to flexible over time. Along with the "standard" labor category, the contract will include secondary and tertiary "non-standard" and "ancillary" service categories and the primary category itself allows for the addition of more services in the future at new needs arise.

This broad scope is intended to keep the Alliant 2 GWACs as dynamic as the IT market they deliver to agency customers, Davie said, noting the contracting office went through two full rounds of draft RFPs and extensive conversation with industry and agencies.

"The results of that engagement are well-rounded final RFPs that build on the success of the first generation Alliant solutions and that incorporate feedback from customers and the vendor community," she said. "These next-gen Alliant vehicles have great potential to provide agencies with new IT offerings, expanded scope and flexible options while driving down costs for the American taxpayer."

Officials will be holding an in-person pre-proposal conference on July 13 at GSA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The final awards are expected in early 2017.

Aaron Boyd is an awarding-winning journalist currently serving as editor of Federal Times — a Washington, D.C. institution covering federal workforce and contracting for more than 50 years — and Fifth Domain — a news and information hub focused on cybersecurity and cyberwar from a civilian, military and international perspective.

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