Polaris Delayed Almost Before it Got Started!

April 8, 2022

GSA has put the Polaris procurement on “hold” while they determine how to respond to industry comments (and possibly a protest) regarding the evaluation of mentor-protégé joint ventures.

The concern is that the significant evaluation weight given to the experience of the large business mentor, in mentor-protégé joint venture bids, will result in stand-alone small business bidders having to unfairly compete against large businesses, or at least against their experience.  There are more than 1,500 current mentor-protégé agreements. Based on the current evaluation criteria, it is possible that all 100 Polaris awards could be made mentor-protégé joint ventures. This would mean that 60% of a small business set-aside GWAC could be performed by large businesses.

While Polaris is paused, potential bidders should proceed with proposal development and team building cautiously, as the RFP may be significantly delayed and the evaluation criteria revised. The previous due date of May 13, 2022 is now overcome by events and the Polaris Submission Portal is also on hold.  However, as of now, questions are still due by April 18th.