Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For government customers

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 at or under the competitive threshold on a sole source basis. Contract holders may take advantage of this unique provision based on self-marketing efforts or past performance.

You must give all contract holders within the primary scope or one of the scope sub-areas (sub-areas should only be used if applicable to your requirement) a fair opportunity to compete in accordance with FAR 16, unless an exception to fair opportunity applies. Sole source orders on STARS III typically utilize the exception at FAR 16.505(b)(2)(i)(E) citing the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)) as the statutory authority.

No, however a contracting officer must justify and seek appropriate approval of a sole source order to an ANC or TO vendor if it exceeds $25M for civilian agencies or to an ANC, NHO or TO vendor if it exceeds $100M for defense agencies. See FAR 19.808-1 and 13 CFR 124.506(b)(2).

An offer and acceptance to the SBA is still required for any sole source task order.

Yes, an offer and acceptance is required for sole source task orders on 8(a) STARS III. Further guidance and an O/A template may be found within the 8(a) STARS III Ordering Guide.

Read the 8(a) STARS III Ordering Guide. for helpful instructions on how to use 8(a) STARS III.

In general, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Attend training
  2. Request a delegation of procurement authority
  3. Issue the task order
  4. Report contract actions
  5. Review past performance

8(a) STARS III is an OMB designated Best In Class acquisition vehicle that provides agencies with access to highly qualified small business industry partners who offer innovative IT services solutions. 8(a) STARS III includes sub-areas to support emerging technology and OCONUS requirements.

The 8(a) STARS III scope supports 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.

Yes, an OLM CLIN may be added at the task order level as ancillary support to the overall IT service. Ancillary support can include non-IT services/labor as well as IT equipment (server racks, mounts, etc) and software. Please review section C (especially C.3) of the STARS III contract for a complete discussion of ancillary support.

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.

GSA issued the notice to proceed for the 8(a) STARS III GWAC on July 2, 2021. The base period is five years with a three year option period.

No. 8(a) STARS III is authorized by the Clinger-Cohen Act to provide technology solutions to the federal government only. State and local governments can use GSA's Multiple Award Schedule through the Cooperative Purchasing Program.

For industry partners

We encourage all companies to consider subcontracting arrangements with any of the 8(a) STARS III Industry Partners.

Upcoming 8(a)STARS III training classes are listed on the GSA events page. 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 III website provides a step by step process for placing an award on the contract. Please visit 8(a) STARS III, and review the right hand list entitled "Using a GWAC."

Last Reviewed: 2023-04-20