FEDWIRE

FAA dispute goes to outside arbiter

A protest filed last month by the losing bidder on a billion-dollar Federal Aviation Administration services contract has been sent to a General Services Administration arbitrator for a decision.

The Washington Consulting Group protested the award of the FAA National Airspace System Implementation Support Contract (NISC)-II to Lockheed Martin Corp. in late November. In its protest WCG maintained that the award to Lockheed Martin represents an organizational conflict of interest. The FAA and WCG could not agree on settlement terms according to an FAA spokesman. It has since gone to the GSA Board of Contract Appeals "special master " who will rule on the issue by Feb. 25.

Army awards three software pacts

The Army Systems Engineering Command last week awarded three software engineering contracts to the following companies: Frontier Applied Sciences Inc. San Diego for $88 million EER Systems Inc. Seabrook Md. for $108 million and Research Analysis and Maintenance Inc. El Paso Texas for $94.5 million. The contractors will vie for orders to provide nonpersonal information technology services required for the integration of commercial off-the-shelf products into interoperable heterogeneous information systems.

Agencies save millions with FTS 2000

Monthly long-distance service rates on the FTS 2000 contract were $5.9 million less than the lowest commercial equivalent offerings in fiscal 1997 according to the annual FTS 2000 cost-effectiveness report delivered to Congress last week by the General Services Administration. The report also noted that if agencies use the FTS 2000 contract at the same rate as fiscal 1997 the total FTS 2000 prices in fiscal 1998 will fall $8.6 million per month below the fiscal 1997 commercial prices. The cost-effectiveness report is available via the Internet at post.fts2k.gsa.gov.

FTS 2001 deadlines pushed back

The General Services Administration this month extended the deadline for bids on the governmentwide FTS 2001 long-distance telecommunications contracts and the Metropolitan-Area Acquisition (MAA) local-service contracts.

Dennis Fischer commissioner of the GSA's Federal Technology Service said the closing date for technical management and business proposals for FTS 2001 has been pushed back to March 2 and the closing date for cost/price proposals has been extended to April 2. Awards are still expected by early fall Fischer said. On the MAA side pre-qualification proposals from vendors are now due by Feb. 26.

Input offers Y2K estimate

A new report estimates it will cost the government about $10.9 billion to address the Year 2000 problem. That estimate developed by the market research firm Input is considerably higher than the Office of Management and Budget's $3.9 billion estimate.

"Y2000 Preparedness and its Impact on the Federal Government" also reports that it expects agencies to divert 46 000 full-time-equivalent federal employees from their normal IT functions to deal with the conversion efforts.

Meanwhile Reps. Connie Morella (R-Md.) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) jointly have sent a letter to President Clinton urging him to include the Year 2000 issue in the upcoming State of the Union address.

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