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Aug 10, 2023

Unlocking the Value of IDIQ Contracts: Evaluating their Worth in Government Procurement

Sponsored Content provided by Reena Bhatia , North Carolina Military Business Center, Federal Business Development, Raleigh

Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts have become a popular procurement mechanism in government agencies, offering a flexible and efficient means to acquire a diverse range of goods and services. The recent proliferation of Best in Class (BIC) IDIQ vehicles with long-term performance periods have put considerable strain on the contracting community. Contractors face tough decisions – secure a seat at the table now or engage in alternate, less than attractive methods to gain access to contracting opportunities as a subcontractor or consider invest heavily on acquisitions and novation to get access to a specific contract vehicle.

For government agencies, IDIQs provide economies of scale, streamlined procurement processes, and cost efficiencies. Contractors, on the other hand, see IDIQs as opportunities to access new agencies, compete within a limited vendor pool, and streamline the bidding process. In Fiscal Year 2023 alone, there are approximately 200 multiple-award IDIQs set to be released in the services sector, presenting a plethora of opportunities. To capitalize on IDIQ contracts and achieve their objectives, contractors must differentiate themselves from the competition and embrace calculated risk-taking. While popular IDIQs hold promise, it is essential for contractors to diversify their approach and not solely focus on the "Tik Tok IDIQs" garnering the most attention. Diligent preparation and a focus on building strong infrastructure and capabilities will ensure contractors are well-positioned to maximize the opportunities that IDIQ contracts offer.

Despite the enticing prospects, contractors need to approach IDIQ pursuits strategically. While popular IDIQs like GSA STARS III, NITAAC CIO-SP4, and GSA POLARIS have garnered significant attention, success goes beyond securing a seat at the table. Proper resources and infrastructure are essential to effectively respond to task orders and capitalize on wins. 

However, challenges are not uncommon in the world of IDIQ contracts. NITAAC's CIO-SP4, after a prolonged evaluation and pre-award protest phase, faced further setbacks due to sustained GAO-level protests, prompting a restart of the award process. Similarly, GSA POLARIS encountered difficulties, with pre-award protests requiring the government to reassess its bid strategy.

Now, contractors turn their focus to another GSA IDIQ – OASIS+. This opportunity, with a proposal due date of 13th September 2023, demands strategic preparation and resilience in navigating the competitive landscape. On the heels of this popular IDIQ is another important entry way to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through its PACTS III IDIQ. The North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) recently held a webinar to explain what DHS Program Management, Administrative, Clerical, and Technical Services (PACTS III) is all about and we will talk about it a bit in this article. 

The landscape of IDIQ contracts offers both opportunities and challenges for contractors. A proactive and strategic approach will enable companies to thrive amidst the competition and make the most of the vast array of IDIQs available in the market. Success lies in identifying the right fits, developing robust resources, and seizing the right opportunities to achieve growth and success in the ever-evolving government contracting arena.

GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) Plus (OASIS+)

GSA OASIS+ is a government-wide multiple-award (MA) Best In Class (BIC) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracting vehicle with an unlimited ceiling value and unlimited number of task orders. The primary objectives of GSA OASIS+ are to streamline the procurement process and provide federal agencies with easy access to high-quality and reliable professional services from a pre-vetted pool of contractors. By leveraging the OASIS+ vehicle, government agencies can efficiently procure complex and integrated solutions without the need for lengthy and repetitive procurement processes.

OASIS+ has a five (5) year base period of performance with one option period of five years that may extend the cumulative term of the contract to ten (10) years. 

The acquisition is broken down across socio-economic tracks including:

  • Total Small Business (SB)
  • HUBZone Small Business
  • Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)
  • Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB)
  • Unrestricted (Full and Open)

There are eight (8) functional areas, referred to as Domains included in this procurement:

  1. Technical and Engineering Domain
  2. Management & Advisory Domain
  3. Enterprise Solutions Domain (only for Unrestricted)
  4. Facilities Domain
  5. Environmental Domain
  6. Logistics Domain
  7. Intelligence Services Domain
  8. Research and Development (R&D) Domain

This procurement follows the recent trend in IDIQ proposals and is a scorecard-based procurement. Companies who wish to Prime on GSA OASIS+ begin by choosing the socio-economic track and domains they wish to pursue. Each small business Prime or team must have a minimum of five (5) Qualifying Projects valued at a minimum of $250,000 to $500,000 (minimum values vary by domains) and large businesses must have minimum of five qualifying projects valued at a minimum of $500,000 - $1M (minimum values vary by domains). 

OASIS+ contractors will go through a rigorous evaluation process to ensure their capabilities and past performance meet the stringent requirements of the program. As a result, federal agencies can have confidence in the expertise and reliability of the contractors available through the OASIS+ contract vehicle.

This is a complex proposal effort with a pre-award phase protest already filed. Let’s all hope this vehicle does not suffer the same faith as NITAAC’s CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP4. Agency buyers so far have enjoyed using GSA OASIS. It has been a lucrative vehicle for many companies. GSA OASIS+ seems to indicate a similar positive outcome albeit in a highly competitive GovCon space. 

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Program Management, Administrative, Clerical, and Technical Services (PACTS III)

DHS PACTS III stands as a multiple-award, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, serving various DHS components in acquiring a wide array of professional services. Unlike some government-wide IDIQs, this vehicle is tailored specifically to meet the unique needs of the Department of Homeland Security. Notably, DHS deserves commendation for its remarkable efforts in creating a truly small business-friendly IDIQ, addressing the limitations that small businesses often encounter and rewarding their contributions to the mission.

With a substantial ceiling of $5.6 billion and a ten-year total period of performance, DHS PACTS III presents a promising opportunity for contractors seeking to partner with the DHS. However, it's essential to keep in mind the potential stakes involved. Contractors are required to achieve a minimum threshold of $250,000 in business under this contract to maintain their position. Falling short of this requirement may lead to options not being exercised, effectively resulting in an off-ramp from the contract.

Moreover, while some contractors may hope for a second chance to join the contract through DHS's on-ramp mechanism, past contracts offer little indication of such opportunities. The absence of on-ramps in previous iterations suggests that gaining entry after the initial award may be challenging, making it imperative for contractors to seize the current opportunity with strategic planning and strong capabilities.

The requirements are broken down into three Functional Categories (FCs) including:

  • FC1: Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
  • FC2: Office Administrative Services
  • FC3: Engineering Services

Traditionally confined to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), DHS PACTS III has broadened its reach to accommodate companies falling under the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVOSB), Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), and 8(a) programs. 

The strategic decision to include these diverse business categories showcases DHS's commitment to fostering inclusivity and maximizing the participation of underrepresented enterprises in government contracting. By opening the doors of opportunity to a broader spectrum of businesses, DHS PACTS III facilitates a more competitive, innovative, and collaborative contracting environment.

The small business focus of DHS PACTS III should not be underestimated. For small businesses seeking to navigate the competitive government contracting landscape, this IDIQ presents a gateway to valuable opportunities within the DHS. The agency's commitment to recognizing and supporting small businesses highlights its dedication to fostering an inclusive and diverse vendor pool.

DHS PACTS III is a unique IDIQ contract that caters to the specific needs of the Department of Homeland Security while prioritizing small business participation. Its generous ceiling and extended performance period offer considerable potential, but contractors must meet established thresholds and act strategically to make the most of this opportunity. Embracing the small business-friendly environment that DHS has created, contractors can position themselves for success and contribute significantly to the agency's vital mission.

Contact the North Carolina Military Business Center for more information on these opportunities: Reena Bhatia,








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