WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Is GSA ashamed about nixing Alliant 2 Small Business?

News that the General Services Administration cancelled the $15 billion Alliant 2 Small Business contract should be no surprise.

The vehicle for agencies to acquire IT solutions and services has a long history of troubles since GSA tried making awards in 2018. A slew of bid protests followed and culminated in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruling that GSA had to rework the solicitation.

GSA has tried issuing new timelines and floated plans including one in last August, when GSA said it would likely increase the number of winners from 81 to 120.

But there has been a lot of uncertainty since then. Over the months I’ve received multiple emails from people asking me if I’ve heard anything.

There is probably some relief in the small business community, but I’m sure there is some anger and frustration too. The time and the money spent pursuing Alliant 2 SB will never be recovered. All that is lost.

I also think that GSA is feeling some of shame and embarrassment too. It was very old school of them to bury the announcement late in the afternoon on the last work day before a major holiday weekend. The announcement rolled into our inboxes at about 4 p.m. Thursday July 2.

The next day of July 3rd was the national holiday because July 4th fell on Saturday this year. A lot of offices close early on the day before a three-day weekend, so I’m sure they were planning on getting the news out and having as few people notice as possible.

Most of the main federal IT trade press grabbed it. But how many people are reading over a three-day weekend? Not many.

I’m sure that GSA is counting on that. Monday and Tuesday as people catch up from the weekend, it’ll be old news to GSA. They can comfortably say, we announced that days ago. And everyone moves on.

So now, GSA begins work on what’s next and is pushing folks to its existing small business vehicles -- 8(a) STARS II, VETS 2 and the Schedules. GSA will work on a new contract and hopefully we’ll see drafts soon.

I’ll make a wager. When those drafts come out, it won’t be late in the day before a holiday weekend. That’s news they won’t want buried.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jul 06, 2020 at 9:40 AM

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