In his State of the Union address Jan. 26, President Bill Clinton envisioned a world wired to the Internet. In his fiscal 2001 budget, released today, he targets billions of dollars for information technology to make it happen.
Concerned about handing over agencywide management of its desktop computers
to a single vendor, the General Services Administration decided last week
it will bring on a second contractor.
The decision to seek another contractor will hinder the agency's effort
to outsource all of its desktops through the Seat Management contract by
the beginning of next year.
"As we get into this, we're learning a lot about what the issues are,"
said Bill Piatt, chief information officer at GSA. "One of the concerns
was whether a single vendor would have the range of skills and resources
needed across the region."
GSA awarded its original task order in December 1998 to Litton/PRC Inc.
In September, worried about the slow rate of employee acceptance and the
depth of Litton/PRC's resources, GSA started to look at the problems emerging
with the almost 2,400 seats in the first phase of implementation, Piatt
The new vendor will compete with Litton/PRC across GSA regions on the
basis of the services offered, Piatt said. "It provides us a certain amount
of additional security if we have two vendors involved. Then if one fails,
we have another that understands our business and what we do," he said.
GSA also found that a lack of standard hardware and software within
the agency slowed implementation. GSA considered bringing in the Federal
Supply Service's IT team to head an internal standardization push. Instead,
the agency decided to choose another Seat or Outsourcing Desktop Initiative
for NASA vendor to allow FSS to focus on developing its online procurement
application, Piatt said.
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