Gov to English translation: In the commercial world a GWAC would be called a Master Services Agreement or MSA
What is GWAC: A GWAC is a list of pre-vetted vendors who the government can buy IT products and services from quickly a efficiently
Why you should care: Being on one or more GWACs allows you to:
1) Pursue sales opportunities that go through GWACs
2) If you want to sell to a new government agency being on a GWAC gives that potential customer confidence that you are compliant, have fair prices, and that they can buy from you quickly
Why are there so many GWACs: The GWACs fund themselves by placing a small service fee on each purchase made through their GWAC, so they want government buys to buy through their contract. And as a result each GWAC competes with all the other GWACs on price and customer service.
Example: The EPA wants to buy laptops through a GWAC. They could buy through SEWP, ALLIANT or CIO-SP3. Each of those GWACs wants the purchase to go through them so they can collect their fee, so the GWACs will try to “earn the business” by providing the best price and customer service
How to get onto a GWAC: Each GWAC accepts new companies every couple of years. The applications vary but typically:
1) You need to provide reference customers
2) Have federally compliant processes and systems (e.g. DCAA, security clearances, etc)
3) Be able to deliver a wide swath of the work under each GWAC. Each GWAC has a few hundred types of work under it, you don’t have to provide every product and service listed, but you (or you and your team-mates) have to be able to deliver a significant portion of the work.
How the government buys through GWACs: The purchase process is basically the same as on SAM, the government releases an RFP through that GWAC portal, companies on that GWAC bid the work, the government chooses a winner.
1) Task orders: The “RFPs” under the GWAC are called task orders
2) Market research: The government can issues an RFI/Sources Sought through the GWAC portal
3) set-asides: The government can set-the RFP aside
Which GWACs are right for you:
Why the government uses them: By pre-vetting a pool of vendors the government is able to quickly and efficiently buy from those vendors
How they differ from IDIQs, BPAs, BOAs: GWACs can be used by any federal agency while the others tend to be available to one agency only
How they are different from GSA Schedule: GSA schedule vetting focusses on price while GWAC applications are more wide ranging, but there is a lot of overlap between GWACs and the schedule