Commerce awards small-business GWAC

Fifty-one small businesses won spots on the Commerce Information Technology Services Next Generation, a small-business, governmentwide acquisition contract for information technology. The multiple-award contract has a ceiling of $8 billion over 10 years.

The contract awards (PDF) were announced Sept. 14 on www.fedbizopps.gov.

Commits NexGen is the successor to Commits, which was awarded in 1999 and expired Aug. 30. The first Commits vehicle had a ceiling of $1.5 billion.

Under Commits NexGen, a task-order contract, federal agencies can buy IT solutions from small businesses, including those that are disadvantaged, 8(a), women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone.

Zen Technology Inc. is one of the 51 firms on NexGen. Leslie Butler, president of the Bethesda, Md., company, said the biggest benefit of COMMITS NexGen is the opportunity to be a prime contractor on a large governmentwide acquisition contract.

"Small and medium-size businesses don't generally have that opportunity," she said.

Apogen Technologies Inc. is one of 14 NexGen winners that had spots on the first COMMITS vehicle. The McLean, Va., company bid on NexGen as ITS Services Inc. In January, ITS Services merged with Science & Engineering Associates Inc. and in June the company changed its name to Apogen Technologies.

Todd Stottlemyer, Apogen's chief executive officer, called NexGen an important win for the company because it will allow Apogen to continue providing services to its COMMITS customers and to pursue opportunities with new agencies.

The NexGen contract is different from the original vehicle in several ways. On the first contract, vendors were qualified to bid in certain functional areas and could bid only in those. On Commits NexGen, winning contractors are divided into three tiers based on the size of the task order, not the technology being purchased.

Nineteen contractors that meet the $6 million or $12.5 million revenue size standards, based on North American Industrial Classification System codes, can compete for all task orders.

Twenty-four contractors that meet the $21 million revenue or 500 employee size standards can compete for task orders worth more than $5 million.

Eight contractors that meet the 1,500-employee size standard can compete for task orders worth more than $40 million.

Where there is an incumbent contractor, that contractor can compete at any level. In addition, firms that outgrow their size status can move into the next-highest size category. As companies outgrow the vehicle entirely, new contractors will be added through an open season.

Under the first Commits contract, some companies had to leave the vehicle after growing too big, often because they had been purchased. With NexGen, some contractors believe companies will have more opportunity to grow inside the vehicle.

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