GSA assesses which agencies will extend network and telecommunications services on old contracts

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Written by Dave Nyczepir

General Services Administration expects most agencies that have not yet awarded work orders for enterprise infrastructure solutions to continue providing services on contracts expiring one year from more, Allen Hill, assistant deputy category commissioner for IT, said Tuesday.

The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice and the Government Accountability Office all had unassigned EIS mission orders as of May 26.

The GSA has invoked the Continuity of Service (CoS) clause for three legacy business networking and telecommunications contracts, giving the agencies until September 30, 2022 to sign a memorandum of understanding that they will complete their transition to the $50 billion EIS contract or find another solution by May 31, 2024.

“We don’t know the number yet,” Hill said at an ACT-IAC event. “But some agencies came back and said they intended to sign the MOU without question.”

Hill did not name those agencies, but said the GSA is in discussions with them about how it can help them, though options are limited at this point in the transition process.

The Legacy Networx, local service and Washington Interagency Telecommunications System (WITS) 3 contracts will still expire on May 31, 2023, but the GSA hopes invoking the CoS clause will help agencies – which may have experienced chain disruptions supply issues related to the pandemic – to avoid future service interruptions .

The next EIS deadline for agencies is September 30, 2022, by which time 100% of their telecom inventory should be moved to EIS. A total of 118 out of 222 agencies met the 90% disconnection deadline of March 31, especially the smaller ones.

Depending on how an agency is transitioning, the percentage of services disconnected doesn’t necessarily indicate progress, but agencies need to complete work orders so vendors can get started, Hill said.

Several agency leaders said the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) 13.0 scorecard – in which 15 out of 24 agencies received F grades during their EIS transitions – prompted their management to devote more resources to this effort.

“As soon as you get that bad mark, all of a sudden: what happens?” said David Naugle, senior IT specialist at the Social Security Administration.

SSA management has begun investing in projects that maintain its EIS transition, after the agency received a D in this area on the FITARA 13.0 scorecard, and now it is on the verge of migrating the rest of his services by the end of the fiscal year, Naugle said.

Naugle estimates that SSA has saved $80 million per year since it awarded its data network services EIS contract, and the savings will increase to 54% once work on the voice services contract is complete.

The average agency should realize savings of about 25% after the transition, Allen said.

Agencies like the US Department of Agriculture, which will operate two networks for some time yet, have yet to realize these savings.

“We won’t see any avoidance or savings until we address this issue,” said Gary Washington, USDA chief information officer.

-In this story-

ACT-IAC, Allen Hill, David Naugle, Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ), Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions, Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act ( FITARA), FITARA Scorecard, Gary Washington, General Services Administration (GSA), Government Accountability Office (GAO), Social Security Administration

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