GSA unveils RFP for $3B support services program

The General Services Administration last Friday issued a request for proposals for a series of telecommunications support services contracts worth up to $3 billion over five years.

GSA's Technical and Management Support (TMS) contracts a companion program to the Post-FTS 2000 services contracts will offer agencies throughout government a full array of telecommunications services to support the transition from the current FTS 2000 network to the next-generation governmentwide infrastructure. It will also provide services to help agencies deal with interoperability challenges they will face with the myriad of vendors offering services under the Post-FTS 2000 umbrella.

David Cleveland deputy assistant commissioner for service development in GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service said the agency will award multiple contracts allowing users to select the vendor most suited for the work. He said GSA will levy a surcharge on each task order but the agency has not yet determined what that charge will be.

"The winning vendors will be awarded task orders based on their ability to market services to customer agencies " Cleveland said. "We will not be assigning business to them."

Proposals are due from vendors by Jan. 2 1997 and GSA will award contracts by October of next year. FTS contracting officer Trudi Bailey said the number of awards will depend on the quality of proposals.

In addition to assistance with network transitions and interoperability problems TMS will provide services for telecom planning requirements gathering engineering and analytical support customer service operations and maintenance and tests and evaluations.

FTS officials acknowledged that the contracts will significantly overlap the services offered under the $620 million Telecommunications Support Contract 2 awarded in September to Booz Allen & Hamilton Inc.

FTS commissioner Bob Woods said it was necessary to award TSC2 as a stopgap measure to meet agencies' immediate demand. Like TMS TSC2 will run for two base years followed by three one-year option periods.GTE Government Systems Corp. and DynCorp have confirmed they will bid on TMS. An industry source said Electronic Data Systems Corp. will also submit a proposal.

Jay Nelson acquisition director of Post-FTS 2000 business lines at GTE said he expects extensive competition for TMS contracts but added that the range of services encompassed provides an opportunity for numerous vendors to get a piece of the pie.

"We may find that because we are marketing our strengths we are not overlapping as much as it looks like " Nelson said.

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