what are governmentwide acquisition contracts?
Briefly put, a Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) is a pre-competed, multiple-award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract that agencies can use to buy total IT solutions, both products and services. GWACs can be awarded by multiple agencies (including GSA, NASA, CDC, etc) but can be used governmentwide, and they typically will focus on a certain segment of IT solutions -- satellite communications, for instance -- or a particularly set-aside -- veteran or small business status, for example.
should my business get a GWAC?
Obviously, if your business is not in the information technology arena, it would not behoove your business to go after a GWAC; you would be wasting most people's time. However, just because you are in the IT industry, this does not necessarily mean you should go after a GWAC. Most of the same issues concerning gaining a MAS contract also apply to obtaining a GWAC, so be sure to review that section for details on it. A large chunk of businesses go more toward Schedule 70 (the IT MAS contract) before going after GWACs -- utilizing a combination of the two. Keep in mind, unlike the MAS program, there is not unlimited entry into the GWACs.
Generally speaking, there are three main reasons to pursue a GWAC:
- An agency/client told you to do so. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the primary motivation for going after a GWAC.
- Your company wishes to optimize a set-aside as much as possible. Veteran-owned and 8(a) IT companies can particularly find value in GWACs.
- Your company has a focus on a particular agency. As mentioned, GWACs are put forth by a particular agency, but they can be utilized by any government contracting agency. However, this does not mean all agencies use them at the same level; for example, if NASA is a prime focus, a NASA GWAC should probably be on your agenda. Keep in mind, while it is a good rule of thumb to assume an agency would make full use of its own GWACs, that does not necessarily mean they are the primary customers of them. This is particularly true with GSA GWACs.
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