CONTRACT AND BUYERS GUIDES: Ten Things You Need to Know about Alliant

From reporting to analysis to security to governance, Alliant can help every step of the way.

 

1. Management Module
Alliant has an online management module that supports GWAC TOs. Through it, agencies have real time access to information on invoices submitted and status of payment. Alliant also can do reports on how much an agency spent and what the funds were spent on. These analysis tools help managers look at programs and see where resources are going.

 

“Customers won’t have to keep off-the-cuff records or make phone calls to find out how much they’ve paid, how much an option is worth, when next installment is do or the burn rate,” said Jim Ghiloni, Director of GWAC Programs.  All that is online so customers can run can run their reports.

 

2. Security
For security, flexibility to customize the appropriate level of security needed is the theme. Basic clauses and provisions related to security and IA are in the basic contract.  A baseline has been built and customers can configure and optimize within their particular requirement the specific security issues they are concerned about.  Customers are assured of a foundation and then they build on it the specifics they need.

 

3. Standardized Labor Categories
Alliant has standardized the labor categories that are consistent across all vendors. GSA will be gathering data as to how those labor categories are used, which are used most and how they are priced. It’s one of the reporting requirements of the contract that Alliant industry partners report on a regular basis. Currently the data is lacking in the federal space.

 

4. ‘Apples to Apples’ Service Comparisons
By having standard definitions for labor categories, customers now have an ‘apples to apples’ method to really compare what Alliant Industry Partners are offering in the way of services. On Alliant all labor categories are defined, as well as the levels of responsibility for each. This makes it more convenient for the agencies who are evaluating to be able to compare those labor costs – and what they are getting for them – directly.

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GSA helps agencies achieve their
missions in the most efficient and cost effective way as possible; and that’s exactly what Alliant is designed to do.

“For example, if an agency gets four bids, each will have a different mix of skills and hours,” said Ghiloni.  “If Company A is bidding 100 hours of a senior network engineer and 1000 hours of a journeyman; and Company B is bidding 500 of each, you have a sense of what means. It allows us to build a database of actual practices,” explained Ghiloni. “We make that data available to customers so they can use it when doing their cost estimating.”

 

You can compare those labor categories, because you are comparing essentially the same functions; whereas in the commercial environment the definitions can be different: a senior network engineer can be different at each company because they are using own terms to define that position.

 

5. Governance
Making sure a contract runs smoothly is no easy task. The question of ‘who talks to who’ is essential to make sure that everything is going right.

With Alliant, anyone writing an order receives a delegation. There is a contracting officer who is in contact with the GWAC Center. Then there are personnel and procedures to monitor and assist with the communications.

 

In addition, each of the Alliant awardees has a Project Manager (PM) to support these individuals. Additional personnel assist with communication and to monitor the contract. Additionally each Task Order (TO) has requirements to fill, keeping everyone on the project informed.

 

6. Fulfilling Fair Opportunity
When you use Alliant as in any GWAC, there is a requirement to offer Fair Opportunity to all of the Industry Partners that are primary contractors to bid on that particular TO. Exceptions to the rule are enumerated in the FAR.

 

With Alliant, when you issue your TO RFP, giving all the Industry Partners the opportunity to propose a solution, your agency has fulfilled its Fair Opportunity obligation according to Ghiloni.

 

Ghiloni also explained Alliant has the capability to do a multi-phase approach, where an agency may want to narrow down the field down before they do the formal RFP. “There are a variety of ways to do that and we can advise agencies on that if that’s an issue.”

 

7. OMB 300 Friendly
Customers who want funding for their IT initiatives or requirements need to submit an OMB Exhibit 300; necessitating them to conceive of their requirements in context of the FEA in order to get OMB approval.

 

“With Alliant they can just they can essentially copy and paste 80% of their Exhibit 300 right into an Alliant Task Order request and have that continuity throughout the process,” said Ghiloni.

 

“Customers are going to realize ‘why I am I going to re-describe my requirements in a different way, why do that twice? I already did once for the FEA’. “What we’ve done by constructing Alliant along the same model is made it very easy for the customer to translate their requirements directly into an Alliant Task Order and map it to the award,” added Ghiloni.

 

8. Contractor Verification
GSA verifies that Alliant Industry Partners have the systems and capabilities they promised, approved purchasing and accounting systems and secure facility accessibility.

 

9. Aggressive Small Business Goals with Flexible Teaming
Alliant has very aggressive small business goals for subcontracting. “Instead of 30 to 35 percent, we are requiring our industry partners to provide 50 percent of their subcontracting dollars to small business,” said Ghiloni.

 

Boosting small business opportunities is enhanced by simple fact that GSA has no prescribed teaming arrangements. Partners are free to team with whomever they wish opportunity by opportunity. Also there are no prescribed lists and no limitations which gives much more flexibility to build teaming arrangements, if they so desire. That is a value to the customer and to the Industry Partner as it frees them up to put together the best possible answer for the government.

 

10. Industry Partners Committed To You
Alliant and Alliant SB Industry Partners are developing web portals where you can access company-specific information and contract
management data – a virtual program management office if you will. Each Industry Partner will have a program manager, technical director, financial professionals, quality control and customer service personnel as well as a small business liaison.