A standard question the OrangeSlices AI team asks every small business that we partner with is, what NEW civilian agencies/departments would you like to work with in the year ahead? The three that are mentioned the most are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Internal Revenue Service. It makes sense – all three are well-funded Federal agencies that have a significant mandate for transformation and modernization.  

Delving further, it is worth looking at how these agencies engage with the small business community.

In the past year, you have seen CMS and DHS components announce, compete and/or award plans for several significant small-business-only multiple-award blanket purchase agreement (BPA)/IDIQ contracts that will drive innovation at the agencies for years to come. From the recently awarded $1B CMS Agile Collaboration and Modernization Endeavors (ACME) and $500M CMS Data Analytics Supporting Healthcare (DASH) BPAs; to the $340M DHS ICE Scalable Ways to Initiate Flexible Tasks (SWIFT) IDIQ; the DHS CBP Enterprise Small Business (ESB) BPA which, when awarded, will provide small businesses with the opportunity to drive enterprise-level technical and business transformation efforts; and a $200M DHS CISA Digital Transformation BPA that is set-aside exclusively for woman-owned small business, the actions the agencies are taking ensure that the top small businesses in GovCon today are flocking to them, bringing their best talent, their ideas, and a willingness to invest in those agencies that are investing and invested in them.  

The opportunity is also there for the IRS to ignite the next generation of innovative small IT and consulting partners who can help drive its transformation and success over the course of the next decade. Those who follow the Internal Revenue Service closely are keenly aware that there are several significant BPAs expected to be competed and/or awarded in the near future at the Internal Revenue Service.  

Whether it is the Research, Applied Analytics & Statistics (RAAS); the Enterprise Program, Project, Integration Services (EPPIS); the Enterprise Case Management Solution Integration Services (ECMSIS); the Enterprise Case Management (ECM) Solutions Development Services (SDS) BPAs; or the Information Technology and Financial Management Support Services; Digital Support Services; Enterprise Services; and PROviding Treasury Enterprise Cybersecurity Technology & Services (PROTECTS) BPAs, the companies that win a seat at these tables will be incentivized to invest in understanding, working and even breathing the current and emerging challenges the agency will be faced with as they compete for tasks on these contract vehicles. 

Looking across the forecast details for these contract vehicle competitions, the latest updates we have seen show that the opportunities for small businesses are quite limited. Unlike CMS and DHS, who are standing up large small business only contract options, the few small businesses at IRS that will be able to earn a seat at the table will be sitting next to much more powerful large business partners that have the resources to dominate and drive the action.  

This is not a new approach for IRS as this is an agency that has historically relied heavily on large business partners to tackle the most challenging issues they face today. Case in point: a quick search of active and recently awarded contract vehicles at the agency shows one IT services BPA valued at greater than $100M, and that was single award.  

The opportunity is there for the IRS to foster the growth of this important small business innovation engine, but these small businesses need more seats at the table. In some cases, they just need their own table.  

All small businesses are not created equal. The most innovative small businesses in GovCon today, the ones who attract the top talent, those which are led by the true entrepreneurs who are innovative and agile, those that move the needle – these firms move to where they can have the most impact and where there is the most opportunity.  They then invest long-term in those agencies, hiring talent and expertise, proactively identifying, developing, and offering up novel and disruptive solutions to meet pressing needs. They do it because they know that the agency is investing and invested in them. We will say it again: The opportunity is there for the IRS to foster the growth of this important small business innovation engine.

Related Data 

Looking for an 8(a), WOSB, HUBZone or SDVOSB to partner with at IRS? Click Here   

You can filter the list by several key indicators, to include socio-economic status, NAICS, Contract vehicle, etc.  

Small Businesses drawing the most attention at IRS:   

Included below is a list of the small businesses we have noted as drawing the most views by Government and industry leaders on the OrangeSlices AI consultant directory since the beginning of 2023 and that bring direct past performance and/or related relationships in support of the Internal Revenue Service.   

** An Elev8 GovCon Honoree, noted for a corporate culture that demonstrates its own excellence, making the company a beacon for talent, for partners, and for clients.      

We cannot and will not speculate here as to the reasons for the increased interest, but whether it is a company evaluating them as a potential partner; a federal acquisition leader doing their due diligence; or a consultant weighing their next job move, this group of companies has been receiving increased interest.   


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  1. Mike T

    IRS does love their very large partners. The one and only BPA you mention is driven and backed by a large