GWACS and IDIQs Contracts Methodically Taking over the Federal Market Place

By: Admin
Date: 2019-03-26

History
In 1996 the Clinger-Cohen Act authorized the creation of GWACs. The government agencies had a huge appetite for the new system of awarding contracts and greatly increased the use of indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts as a result.  This is mainly due to the streamliningin the procurement process, especially true in IT.  20 years later and there are now thousands of IDIQ contracts in use by the Federal Government.  Winners of these contracts in many cases are awarded multi-year contacts ranging from 1-10 years in duration.  IDIQ contracts have become so prevalent that 84% of respondents to a University of Maryland Survey stated that not having a place on a particular agencies first choice IDIQ contract would hamper the firm’s ability to compete for that agencies business. 

What is the Advantage in having a GSA Schedule when attempting to win a spot on an IDIQ Contract, GWAC or MAC?

Generally the most involved process for attempting to win a place on any IDIQ contract is establishing and validating your pricing and competency as a federal vendor.  Having a GSA Schedule Contract demonstrates that your firm’s pricing has been vetted by a trusted source within the federal government, the GSA, and this makes the bidding process for an IDIQ contract much easier.  This becomes even more important as IDIQ contracts remain open for a relatively short period of time and non-GSA firms have difficulty getting their ducks in a row to submit their bid.  Additionally it is becoming more prevalent for small business to carve out a piece of these large contracts such as the recent OASIS SB that is currently up for bid.  A single task order on an IDIQ such as this can be worth millions in revenue to a firm. 

Examples of IDIQ Contracts known as GWACs and their sizes recently or soon to be awarded contracts (note most of these contract are not currently open for new participants):

Responsible Agency and Name of IDIQ/GWAC/MAC

Size of IDIQ/GWAC/MAC

GSA EIS

$50B

GSA Alliant II

$50B

DOE – Management and Operation of Sandia National Laboratory

$26B

DOD ENCORE III

$17.5B

ARMY Information Technology Enterprise Solutions 3 Services (ITES 3S)

$12.1B

DOD Defense Health Information Technology Services (DHITS GEN I)

$20B

DOD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JE-RDAP)

$7.5B

DOC Firstnet Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network

$6.5B

Management and Operation of the Nevada National Security Site

$5B

Major Agency users of IDIQ Contracts
DOD uses IDIQ contracts more frequently than civilian agencies however three civilian agencies use IDIQ contracts the most frequently.  They are Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Veterans Affairs (VA).

*IDIQ Contract Explained
An IDIQ contract is used to fulfill recurring needs when the government cannot determine in advance the precise quantities or specific delivery dates of the supplies or services it will require during the contract period.  An IDIQ essentially is an “umbrella” contract for a “class” of supplies or services that will be furnished when ordered during a specific contract period.  These orders will take place when the need arises during the contract term.  IDIQ contracts are mainly used to buy services as the GSA Schedule System provides a better mechanism for the purchase of supplies and services. 

Jumping Man