GSA gets ITOP contract

General Services Administration officials are taking over the Transportation Department's $10 billion Information Technology Omnibus Procurement contract, known as ITOP.

Officials from the two agencies have been working to make the switch, and agency leaders signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this month.

GSA is transferring all of the contracts within ITOP to GSA Region 9 in San Diego, which will manage the vehicle, said Tina Burnette, deputy assistant commissioner of GSA's Federal Supply

Service. FSS will administer ITOP, and the Federal Technology Service will offer assisted procurement services for it, she said.

ITOP customers should not notice major differences after the switch is final, she added. "The vehicle runs very well the way it's written," she said. "We don't intend on making any changes to it."

GSA officials have held meetings with ITOP customers and with industry officials to keep them informed, she added.

DOT's support for ITOP has waned, said Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement. In 2002, department officials closed the contract to buyers outside DOT. In early 2003, department officials disbanded the Transportation Administration Service Center, the fee-based organization that managed ITOP.

"I know that GSA has great hopes for it," Allen said. "ITOP has been quiet ever since it lost its executive agency backing. We'll have to see what GSA does to reinvigorate it."

The contract was once considered a powerhouse governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC), but it has not fulfilled that reputation in recent years, he added.

"I am sure the ITOP contractors would like to see it regain its previous luster,"

he said.

Chip Mather, senior vice president of Acquisition Solutions Inc., suggested that ITOP's heyday may be over.

"The world as we know it will continue to exist," he said of the transfer. "There are a lot of newer vehicles out there. This is not a big deal."

However, Mather said GSA officials could do more with ITOP than DOT officials did.

It's "better to have an organization that wants to support a GWAC handling it than one who has decided it is not in their mission," he said.

Originally awarded for seven years, ITOP expires in 2006, Burnette said.

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