Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC)

The federal government is looking for small businesses who specialize in IT products and services. And Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) are an avenue into that business.

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. Three GWACs are designed specifically for small businesses: 8(a) STARS II, VETS, and Alliant Small Business.

Pre-compete means that the group of vendors, or “industry partners” is selected during an evaluation process, and that group remains fixed until a new contract is created, or an existing contract is extended. Unlike GSA Schedules, where vendors are accepted on a rolling basis, GWACs have firm deadlines for selecting their vendor pool.

GSA small business GWAC contracts achieved over 82 billion in sales in FY2015

Multiple-Award means that the contracts offered go to more than one vendor. This gives your customer—federal agencies—flexibility in creating solutions.

Indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), means the final piece of this contract provides for flexibility for the customer, when an agency’s demands cannot be anticipated in advance. This also makes delivery more efficiency, as the task order has been worked out in advance.

Three of the current GWACs have been specifically created to promote small business participation in the IT market. Although all three of these contracts already have selected their vendors, small businesses can still participate in this market by becoming subcontractors to existing vendors.

If you are interested in bidding on upcoming GWACs contracts or learning how the current contracts are progressing, subscribe to the Interact GWACs communities VETS2 and/or Alliant. Sign up for the GWACs newsletter. For more information on the entire group of GWACs, visit the GWAC homepage

If you are interested in approaching an existing GWACs vendor to offer your subcontracting services, do your homework. Research those vendors. Subcontracting allows you a window into the federal acquisition process, and should help you decide if you want to remain, or expand, into this market.

Even if you feel your business is not yet ready to participate in a GWACs contract, consider taking the GWACs bootcamp available on Interact (no sign-in required). This will provide you with a basic understanding of what the federal market is seeking. You may review some of the videos here.


GWAC Bootcamp: Video Playlist





Last Reviewed 2015-12-11