will be competed among 8(a) firms

Much of the discussion lately in the grants management systems community has been about the upcoming recompete of the IT support contract, currently held by General Dynamics IT. A sources sought was issued in April and now word reaches me that a decision has been made to issue an RFP to only 8(a) small businesses. Clearly the responses to the sources sought from 8(a) companies convinced the program office and/or procurement officials that enough capability exists within that community to service’s needs over the next five years.

Still, this is a change in approach for which has, up to now, procured all of its services through the CIO-SP2i contract vehicle managed by NIH. CIO-SP2i includes a few small businesses but is predominantly large business focused (though the new CIO-SP3 contract will be split between large and small businesses).
I’m curious to see whether the upcoming RFP includes suggestions for how may innovate over the next five years. A move toward cloud computing was mentioned in the sources sought notice, and has been discussed almost endlessly in the last few years. More importantly to the grants community, though, is the need to shift away from an e‑forms architecture to a web-based approach, to avoid the overhead and difficulties associated with offline forms processing.
It should be an interesting summer!