Bell Atlantic rings up $11.7M win at FEMA

Bell Atlantic last week won a potential $11.7 million contract to provide wide-ranging telecommunications support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Under the contract Bell Atlantic will provide FEMA with centralized acquisition ordering and coordination of local telecommunications services and equipment.

"The core task in the contract is for disaster support. When a disaster hits an area we need to deal with the local telephone companies or the regional Bell operating company " according to Greg Steigerwald the lead contract specialist at FEMA. "Bell Atlantic will fill those requirements for us on an expedited basis so that we can establish a disaster field office and any other support organization that we need out in the field."

According to Jim Glowacki the programs development manager for Bell Atlantic the FEMA pact is broken into two parts. "The first is to provide communications services and products for disaster recovery in all 50 states and the U.S. territories " Glowacki said.

Upgrade to TIMACS

Noting that Bell Atlantic has been working with FEMA for more than five years Glowacki said his company's products and services - including pagers cellular phones dedicated circuits T-1 lines satellite uplinks and basic telephone lines - will further upgrade the Telecommunications Information Management Accounting and Control System. Developed by Bell Atlantic TIMACS "allows FEMA managers to interact with our system and authorizes FEMA officials to place orders for communications services and requirements to support their disaster recovery efforts " Glowacki said. In addition the TIMACS software system will provide a single monthly bill to FEMA that details information about the purchase of services locations and costs. The system will consolidate an average of 1 100 vendor invoices.

The second part of the contract Glowacki said will support FEMA's day-to-day operations. FEMA will expand its World Wide Web site under the contract providing employees with information about training and operations as well as providing the general public with information regarding planning for floods and other disasters guidance on how to process claims and advice on government assistance during a emergency. Bell Atlantic's only competitor for the contract was AT&T.

According to Bob Weiss a FEMA contracting officer money was not the main consideration.

"In the cost area actually AT&T was less but money was not the determining factor it was best value " according to Weiss.

In a short statement an AT&T spokeswoman noted that "we are disappointed but we believe we submitted a highly competitive proposal to meet FEMA's requirements."

The contract will take effect Oct. 1.

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