Who is eligible for STARS III 8(a)?

Many companies don’t realize that they can definitely have a seat on the $12B GSA 8(a) Streamlined Technology Acquisition Resource for Services (STARS III) government-wide acquisition contract (GWAC).

I say “definitely,” because there is no competition.

If you are eligible and you send in a compliant proposal, you are in. It is that simple.

In my latest research using publicly available data, using an AI software we have developed, I found out that there are over 724 8(a) companies that are eligible to be on STARS III just based on federal contracts (have at least one contract over $1M performed during the past couple of years). I obviously don’t have the data to know about the commercial contracts that 8(a) companies can use and be eligible. Therefore, that 724 number can certainly be larger in reality.

So what are the requirements?

  1. You need to be an SBA certified 8(a) company
  2. You need to have at least one (1) contract (federal or commercial but as PRIME) with a value of $1M or higher completed within the last 2 years (or ongoing but with 1 year of performance) that fits within one of the 6 functional areas of STARS III. These functional areas cover anything that is related to IT. If you have that 1 contract, you are in. Don’t hesitate a moment and get prepared to participate because there is no competition and no shortlisting. Either you have that 1 contract in which case you are in or you don’t.
  3. Note: If the contract has been completed, then the obligated amount must be over $1M. But, if it is ongoing with at least 1 year of performance, then all the optional years are also accounted for and kick in and you can use to claim for in the total contract value.
  4. If you want to participate in more than 1 functional area, then you need to have a different contract with the same requirements as above, for each functional area.

What are the functional areas?

The functional areas (FAs) essentially map to the various IT NAICS codes; but if you are using commercial contracts, for which you can and there is no downfall for it, then you have to map your scope to one of the following:

  • FA 1: Custom Computer Programming Services (Corresponds to NAICS 541511 for federal contracts)
  • FA 2: Computer Systems Design Services (Corresponds to NAICS 541512 for federal contracts)
  • FA 3: Computer Facilities Management Services (Corresponds to NAICS 541513 for federal contracts)
  • FA 4: Other Computer Related Services (Corresponds to NAICS 541519 for federal contracts)
  • FA 5: Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services (Corresponds to NAICS 518210 for federal contracts)
  • FA 6: Innovation oriented (Corresponds to NAICS 541512 for federal contracts)

Should you sub?

My answer to most inquiries in this respect is usually a big NO. Why should you become sub to another company when you can PRIME and get a seat on this JV? If you have the $1M contract that the other company is after, then, by all means, you can PRIME. If you don’t have, what is the reason for a partnership? Only if the other company is willing to give you a piece of the pie from other functional areas for which you don’t have a contract, should you even consider subbing to others.

Should you form a JV?

If you are an 8(a) company but don’t have any contracts over $1M, one of the avenues open to you is to form a mentor-protégé with a non-8(a) company. Unfortunately, forming an SBA approved 8(a) mentor-protégé JV takes around 2 months, and it might be too late now but hoping that GSA again delays the release of STARS III, this might be worth a shot.

In Conclusion:

  1. Don’t miss getting yourself on this GWAC, even if it is for just one functional area.
  2. This is the best avenue for companies who have not worked with the government and only have commercial past performance, to jump on this $12B GWAC
  3. Don’t sub to any company unless you gain something definite
  4. If you don’t have the necessary federal or commercial contract(s), try to form an SBA approved JV with another company that does have the past performance but is not an 8(a).

Finally, to ensure you are compliant and do not miss a chance, contact us so we can help you put together your proposal. We can be reached at: 571-206-4460

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