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This is part three of three in the GovTribe series on the General Services Administration (GSA) Alliant vehicle. For more intel, check out the other posts in the series.



Alliant launched in 2009 with two tracks. GSA awarded Alliant contracts to 57 companies (mostly large businesses) on the standard track, and to 68 registered small businesses on the small business track. In this final installment of our Alliant series, I'm going to dig in to the activity of Alliant Small Business.

Overview

The obvious first question is how much work is going small business as compared to the standard track.

To date, the government has awarded task orders totaling $6.7 billion and has obligated $2.9 billion, or 43% of the ceiling on the Small Business track. This is about a third of the amount of work going to the standard track.Additionally, award values and obligations for the Small Business track have been growing consistently since Alliant's debut.

The year over year growth rate in awards has slowed in recent years, but the rate for obligations has begun to increase. In other words, agencies awarded many multi-year task orders early on and now they're starting to obligate more steadily against them.

An interesting point we unearthed while digging in the data is that there was a dip in total number of new task orders awarded in FY 2014. However, the total award value of task orders awarded in 2014 was the highest to date. So, what happened?

This is primarily because included in the FY 2014 total award value are multiple ceiling increases for existing, prior year task orders. A whopping $841 million was added last FY to task orders awarded between 2009 and 2013 – that's 42% of the total award value for the year.

Another interesting slice of this data is depicted in the following chart. It shows the total number of task order awards over time, split by duration.

There are two interesting data points here. First, the total number of awards dropped slightly last year. Second, the yellow portion of the bar (duration) has increased every year, including FY 2014. Our key takeaways for these two data points are as follows:

  • There is an increasing preference to use the Alliant GWAC for longer-term contracts.
  • The large award value total in 2014 was due in part to ceiling increases for existing task orders.
  • It is likely that both of these trends were driven by the approaching expiration date of the Alliant vehicle in 2014. (Alliant has now been extended through 2019)

The Work

Before we get in to agencies and vendors, a quick look at the kind of work being awarded under Alliant Small Business. There is plenty of IT solutions work, for sure. Many of the largest contracts are for more O&M and help desk, and less design and development. There is also a lot of general management, research and development and other services.

Agency Breakdown

Obligations by agency highlight the fact that the top spenders here are somewhat different than on Alliant for large businesses. A quick reminder, this is for non-defense agencies only. Join GovTribe now to get our full report on Alliant, including defense agency breakdowns.

Department of Energy tops the list with obligations at about twice that of the next biggest spender. Its largest task order is a broadly scoped, $815 million IT services and solutions contract awarded to ActioNet. ($290 million has been obligated so far.) The contract appears to be an all-purpose IT contract that other agencies could also leverage. It's been around since 2012 and is set to expire in FY 2016. To date, all task orders are reportedly funded by Energy, despite the fact that the promotional materials put out by ActioNet claim the contract is available to any agency. No subcontracts have been reported.

Energy has two additional active task orders just under $100 million each, both of which are slated to end in April 2015. One is an R&D contract with the Metrica Team Venture (led by Softek International). The other is a cyber security contract for the National Nuclear Security Administration awarded to OnPoint Consulting. Both are nearly fully burned with obligations of $160 million between them.

The General Services Administration has two large task orders awarded in earlier fiscal years, as well as a newer one that kicked off in May 2014. All three are for IT strategy, architecture and support. The big winners here are AAC Inc. and Techflow Inc., both of which are getting steady obligations against their task orders with no reported subs.

Finally, I'll highlight Department of State, which has 13 active task orders; four of which have had a significant amount of money obligated against them. The biggest is a $242 million help desk contract awarded to Digital Management Inc. in FY 2012. State has obligated $84 million against this task order to date.

For the rest, here's a statistical summary of all contracts that were active in FY 2014.

Note that Energy and State, though they are at the top of the list in terms of total award value and obligations, do not burn against their contracts as reliably as other agencies. Based on this chart, HHS and Commerce emerge as agencies to watch for small businesses on Alliant . They award task orders with more frequency than any other agency. And, though their contract values are lower on average, they obligate against them ahead of schedule making ceiling increases more likely.

Top Vendors

The top vendors list is, of course, consistent with the agency analysis above.

Of the top five, ActioNet, AAC, Digital Management, and Metrica were mentioned above, in the agency breakdown. Vistronix has its position, not due to a single, large task order, but because it has seven active contracts across four agencies. It wins about one sizeable task order every year, making it a formidable competitor on the vehicle.

There's not much additional to say here, except that there seems to be no notable or reported subcontract activity on Alliant Small Business task orders. If the source data is correct, the primes are getting 100% of the revenue associated with the contracts they've been awarded. This means fewer subcontracting opportunities here for new entrants, but it's good news for the contract holders.


Want more?

Still have Alliant questions? I know, I know. What's up with defense work? There was just too much to get to in the blog, but our full report on Alliant is now available to GovTribe subscribers. Sign up today with an annual or monthly subscription and receive a PDF of a complete report on the Alliant GWAC as our welcome gift.

Additional content in the full report includes a full deep-dive in to defense agency contracts, extended agency and vendor details, seasonality analysis, contracting pricing structure evaluation, and more.

If you have any other questions or comments you can also send me a note.

You can also check out parts 1 and 2 of our Alliant blog series.