8(a) STARS II Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For government customers
8(a) STARS offers the unique opportunity to contract with highly qualified 8(a) small, disadvantaged businesses. Using GWACs is a faster alternative to time-consuming and costly full and open competitions. We also offer training and customer service to help you with contracting rules and regulations.
GWACs are for information technology and IT-related services. You can also buy hardware, software and related supplies as part of an integrated solution. Leasing is prohibited under GSA's GWACs.
In general, you need to follow these steps:
Yes, based on Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637 and FAR 19.8), you may award task orders under the $4 Million competitive threshold on a sole-source basis. We also call this a directed order. Contract holders may take advantage of this unique provision based on self-marketing efforts or past performance.
You must give all contract holders within a functional area fair opportunity to compete when requirements exceed the $4 Million competitive threshold in accordance with FAR 16.
No. 8(a) STARS is authorized by the Clinger-Cohen Act to provide technology solutions to the federal government only. State and local governments can use IT Schedule 70 through the Cooperative Purchasing Program.
GSA will review your task order or modification requirements for free to make sure the scope of your task order is compatible with the scope of our GWACs — we call this a scope compatibility review, and it takes approximately two to five business days.
Contracting officers can ensure their agencies receive 8(a) credit by conducting a task order size re-representation. Ordering contracting officers can conduct a task order size re-representation as a condition of new task order awards, if you think it is in your agency's best interest. Please contact the 8(a) STARS II team if you need assistance to conduct a task order size re-representation. After you have made the award, you claim socioeconomic credit by reporting contract actions in the Federal Procurement Database System (FPDS).
Familiarization with 13 CFR 124 provides in depth guidance on this topic. In short, yes, even if the awardee has graduated or will graduate from the 8(a) program, they can continue to receive new orders during the contract’s base period of five years. 8(a) credit and other applicable socioeconomic credits for that awardee will apply to those task orders issued during that base period.
For industry partners
We encourage all companies to consider subcontracting arrangements with any of the 8(a) STARS II industry partners
Additional information on customer training and the delegation of procurement authority process may be found at the GSA GWAC training page.
No. NAICS codes and size standards are commonly listed in solicitations, but that does not necessarily mean the customer agency requires an order level size re-representation. If the ordering contracting officer requires an order level size re-representation, they must clearly state it in the solicitation.
When in doubt, ask the ordering contracting officer what their intention was early in the solicitation period.
Acquisition Central features Agency Procurement Recurring Forecasts
The 8(a) STARS II website provides a step by step process for placing an award on the contract. Please visit www.gsa.gov/8astars2, and review the righthand list entitled “Using 8(a) STARS II.”
The GSA 8(a) STARS II team has created a series of training videos to help you manage your GWAC contract; these videos can be accessed at http://interact.gsa.gov/sbgwacbootcamp.
Try our IT Solutions Navigator to find the best contract to meet your requirements
Using 8(a) STARS II
- Attend training
- Request a delegation of procurement authority
- Issue the task order
- Report contract actions
- Review past performance
What is a GWAC?
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.