GWACs = Best In Class

The purpose of a GWAC is to provide you – the government customer – with a way to get the innovative best in class solutions for your IT requirements.

GWAC planners take great care is selecting industry GWAC contract holders, making sure these “industry partners” really represent the “best of the best” among the large and small business IT product and services providers. Take advantage of a wide variety of choices – one of which is sure to meet your unique needs.


For information on all GSA GWACs, contact the Enterprise GWAC Center Client Support toll free number at 877-534-2208 or visit

GSAGSA by far has the largest number of solution-based GWACs available with special contract vehicles designed to help you meet minority and small business contracting requirements. Even though it has been painfully slow getting the “next generation” Alliant and Alliant Small Business GWACs off-the-ground, GSA is confident they have the contract vehicle that meet your needs – right now.

“We have a robust GWACs program that can satisfy our customers’ needs today,” said GSA ITS Assistant Commissioner, John Johnson proudly.


Johnson further said task orders can be customized and hardware, software, and services may be purchased through GWACs as part of a total technology solution.  According to GSA, task orders placed against GWACs may be customized to meet the full range of IT service solutions, including, but not limited to:

* Service/product integration
* Systems integration
* Systems operation and management
* Software engineering management
* Communications
* Information systems engineering
* Information systems security services
* Network/management telecommunications
* Web enabled solutions


Plus with the recent addition of COMMITS NexGen (Commerce Information Technology Solutions-NexGen) from Commerce, GSA has even more capabilities. And GSA says look for Alliant and Alliant SB to make their debut in late 2008.


According to GSA Commissioner Jim Williams, GSA's latest e-Business innovation is e-Buy an electronic RFQ/RFP system designed to allow Federal buyers to request information, find sources, and prepare RFQs/RFPs, online, for millions of services and products offered through GSA's Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) and GWACs. It also can help you find out which products are “Green”.


To use a GWAC, an agency can either get a delegation of procurement authority (DPA) from GSA and manage the acquisition directly or call on GSA Client Support Centers for a whole host of Assisted Services.


“Federal buyers can use e-Buy to obtain quotes or proposals for services, large quantity purchases, big ticket items, and purchases with complex requirements,” said Williams.


Typically the GSA fee for GWACs is .75 percent and is built into the contractor price. There is no “bill” from GSA. But right now, if you have an IT requirement, you can turn to the following GSA managed GWACs.


ANSWER (Applications 'n Support for Widely-Diverse
End User Requirements)
GSA promotes ANSWER as a “best value and innovation” solution for a wide variety of applications stretching from telemedicine, war gaming, agriculture
and homeland security to nuclear energy and social security systems. ANSWER constantly updates technology offerings with a technical refreshment provision, thus helping keep requirements “in scope”.


Recently GSA extended the performance period for ANSWER by six months and is saying ANSWER task orders must be awarded prior to contact expiration on June 30, 2009. Task orders awarded prior to June 30, 2009 expiration date may be awarded for a period of up to five years inclusive of base and options.


According to GSA, ANSWER is an ID/IQ that features “10 world class contractors with unlimited subcontractor support”, worldwide geographical reach, dual levels of competition, limited protestability and streamlined acquisition.


There is a comprehensive listing of labor categories with fair and reasonable ceiling rates and competition-driven discounts at the task order level.  Common task order types are fixed price (incentive and award), time and materials and hourly labor.


ANSWER has seven geographical rate areas with ceiling prices reflecting locations; 40 hours of training for every contractor full-time equivalent; and one group manager for every 35 contractor employees.


Learn more at


8(a) STARS (Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resources for Services)
Using 8(a) STARS you can buy a full range of IT solutions – including application development, computer facilities management services, and information assurance – through small disadvantaged 8(a) firms.


This is an 8(a) set-aside contract gives customers the benefit by having access to a portfolio of over 200 industry partners distributed across eight areas of expertise. Federal agencies also receive 8(a) and other small business credits toward their procurement preference goals through the use of these contracts.


GSA recently has added new pre-priced labor categories to the contract as a result of its recent technical refreshment. The new labor categories will help reduce the need for other direct costs on orders issued under this contract, making it more adaptive for federal requirements.


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COMMITS NexGen (Commerce Information Technology Solutions-NexGen)
This set-aside for “exceptional small, disadvantaged, 8(a), women-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned, and HUBZone businesses”, as GSA describes them, was transferred to the GSA portfolio from Commerce in March, 2008 to provide “competitive IT solutions”.


Beginning in April GSA began an extensive 45-60 day review of the COMMITS NexGen GWAC to: “provide for an important dialogue with the prime contractors/industry partners; to update the COMMITS NexGen Ordering Guide; and to begin incorporating the prime contractors into GSA systems.”


GSA held a planning a conference with COMMITS NexGen prime contractors in May 2008 and the GWAC will be managed by the Small Business GWAC Center in Kansas City, MO.


Learn more by sending questions to or call the Small Business GWAC Center toll free at (877) 327-8732.


This is another GWAC that will be eventually replaced by Alliant. Millennia expires on April 27, 2009 and task orders issued prior to the expiration of the contract can be issued for a period of up to five (5) years. After the contract expiration date, all labor ceiling rates will be negotiated at the task order level according to GSA.


Consisting of nine ID/IQ contracts, Millennia fulfills the demand for large system integration and development projects by providing IT support contracts in the areas of software engineering, communications, and systems integration. It also provides IT services, including ancillary hardware, software and firmware.


Millennia offers you integrated solutions incorporating a wide range of IT products and services; fixed-price and cost reimbursement task orders; and the choice of using GSA Assisted Services or direct services options.  Plus task order awards are non-protestable.


According to the GSA website, “Millennia was basically created to provide three main types of IT services”. They are:

* Communications – Definition, design, implementation, and management of digital and integrated or linked communications systems
* Software Engineering – Managing software from initial conception and planning, through design and development, to conversion, maintenance and improvement
* Systems Integration – All activities needed to develop and initiate automated information system.


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Millennia Lite
Based on the IT lifecycle, Millennia Lite has four functional areas:

* IT capital planning, studies, and assessments
* High-end information technology services
* Mission support services; and legacy systems migration
* New enterprise systems development.


GSA promotes that “typical projects under the Millennia Lite GWAC include, but are not limited to: biometrics; nanotechnology; CPIC; IA and security;
critical infrastructure protection; KM; systems engineering; application development; software development, CAD, CAE, and CAM; and business
and systems analysis.”


Millennia Lite has a base contract period of three years and seven available performance-based extension years through 2010. Customers have the option of issuing fixed price, cost reimbursement, or labor hour/time and material task orders. And to promote high quality contractor performance, contract option periods are based on the Award Term performance incentive plan.


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VETS (Veterans Technology Services)
VETS, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business set-aside GWAC that expires in 2012, focuses on two functional areas:

* Systems operation and maintenance
* Information systems engineering.


Designed to grow federal contracting opportunities for service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, according to GSA, “the VETS GWAC will assist agencies in meeting their three (3) percent service-disabled veteran-owned small business goals, by providing pre-qualified industry partners in one easy-to-use contract vehicle.” Task orders have limited protestability.


In January, the Army named VETS “as a resource to meet Army's Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) goal.”


Learn more at


For information on SEWP call (301) 286-1478 or email

NASAIts proper name is Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement, but everyone knows this NASA GWAC by its acronym – SEWP.  The latest iteration is SEWP IV, a seven year contact running until 2014.

SEWP was born out of the need for access to the latest IT products -- specifically a “vast selection and wide range of advanced technology, including UNIX, Linux and Windows based computer systems and servers along with peripherals, network equipment, storage devices and other IT products and product solutions”, according to the SEWP website.


SEWP has 38 prime contract holders, including 21 small businesses and 9 veteran-owned businesses. In addition to these 38 contractors that competed for SEWP, there are several non-competed 8(a) Set-Aside Contractors.


According to the SEWP website, “SEWP offers low prices (generally below GSA schedule prices), the lowest surcharge (0.6%) and the easiest and fastest ordering procedure using pre-competed contracts”.


Online search and quote capabilities help agencies find the exact fit for their needs. Fast ordering procedures and continuous pro-active after-order tracking provide you with “the best overall value on the right solutions offered directly by leading hardware and software manufacturers and experienced Government integrators”.


SEWP IV are firm fixed price contracts that offer a wide variety of IT products and product solutions, including:

* Desktop Computers and Laptops
* High performance servers and data-base servers
* Mass storage and network devices
* Advanced video and visualization solutions
* Computer support devices
* Security systems and tools
* Audio-Visual systems
* Cost per Copy Multi-Functional Printers
* Warranty and Maintenance
* Implementation and Installation
* Product-based Training


More than 1,000,000 contract line items from over 2400 manufacturers are available through the SEWP contract holders.


According to its website, SEWP is divided into five Groups of contracts. Groups A, B, C and D were awarded through a Competitive process with the Group B competition set-aside for SDVOSB (Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses) and Group C competition set-aside for Small Business. Group E consists of non-Competed 8(a) set-aside contracts.


Each Competed Group has the same scope which provides overlap among all Contracts and Groups. At a minimum, to provide Fair Opportunity as required by FAR Part 16, all Contract Holders within any one individual Group must be provided Opportunity (the SEWP On-line RFQ and Search tools automatically provide the Fair Opportunity groupings when selecting Contract Holders). For maximum competition one, two, three or all four Groups can be selected.


Learn more at


National Institutes of Health (NIH) –
To learn more about NIH GWACs visit or call the NITAAC hotline at 1-888-773-6542.

NIHNIH GWACs are managed by NITAAC – the NIH Information Technology Acquisition & Assessment Center. Recently NITAAC got comment from the government and contractor community on its next general contract(s) that will succeed CIO-SP2i and IW2nd GWACs that expire in December 2010. NIH said it is planning to combine them into one contract. The plan right now is to develop 10 functional areas for the new contract to cover a broad array of technology services.

ECS III, the third NITAAC GWAC does not expire until 2012 and will remain in effect. CIO-SP2i (Chief Information Officer Solutions and Partners 2 Innovations).


The CIO-SP2 i contract provides Information Technology hardware, software, systems, and services in support of IT solutions within NIH and other Government Agencies. Task orders will be written for support and services in nine primary task areas. It expires in 2010.


Listed below is a definition of each task area. These are quoted from the CIO-SP2 i Section C.


CIO-SP2i provides infrastructure and information assurance, IT operations and maintenance and CIO support, among other services including:

* Chief Information Officer (CIO) Support
* Outsourcing
* IT Operations and Maintenance
* Integration Services
* Critical Infrastructure Protection and Information Assurance
* Digital Government
* Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
* Clinical Support, Research, and Studies
* Software Development


IW2nd (ImageWorld 2 New Dimensions)
IW2nd offers all necessary imaging technology for business, medical sciences and geographic information systems. The contract, which expires in 2010, has three functional areas including:


Business Technology: The NIH requirements for document conversion and electronic storage address the need to archive large quantities of legacy data while maintaining search, retrieval, and printing capabilities. It includes requirements for Electronic Document Management (EDM) and Administrative Correspondence Workflow (ACW) which are the typical NIH business processes, such as the review of grant applications consist of the flow and processing of information.


Medical Sciences: Electronic image applications and medical image analysis are two disciplines that will benefit from better fulfillment of document management, workflow, and security recognition systems requirements.


Geographic Information Systems (GIS): GIS provides powerful tools for geographic analysis for almost any health discipline and integrates key data components based on geographic elements to help achieve precise analysis and powerful presentations.


ECS III (Electronic Commodities Store III)
ECS III provides software and hardware, software documentation, hardware maintenance, warranty services and peripherals.  According to the NITAAC website, items include “Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS):

* Desktop, laptop, handheld computing devices (including peripherals), workstations, Software (including operating systems)
* Networking equipment, commercial telecommunications equipment items related to telephony, including but not limited to (network routers, switches, repeaters, and cabling),
* NITAAC says the Equipment Specialists in the Acquisition Planning and Specifications Branch at OLAO assist program offices/personnel with all phases of the acquisition process. Please call (301) 496-4814 with questions.


NITAAC also makes its contracts both competitive and user-friendly by providing tools such as an electronic RFQ system that allows you to post and receive contract bids electronically for best-value determinations.


While open to all government buyers, these GWAC specifically support the NIH medical research mission by helping NIH buy technologies and services that are specific to the NIH mission, such as any kind of image-related technology from document-imaging to MRIs.


Learn more at