Fischer leaving FTS

Dennis Fischer, who headed up the government's latest telecommunications

pact, last week said he would leave April 2 to take a position in the private

sector.

Fischer took over as commissioner of the General Service Administration's

Federal Technology Service in November 1997, capping 30 years in government

service. He's leaving to lead the government sales and integrated solutions

department for Visa in the company's McLean, Va., office.

Sandra Bates, assistant FTS commissioner for two years under Fischer, will

step into the top spot. She has helped lead many of the agency's largest

programs, including the FTS 2000 and FTS 2001 long-distance contracts.

Fischer oversaw the development of several multibillion-dollar contracts

that offered first-of-their-kind information technology services to agencies.

Having served as a former chief financial officer in government, Fischer,

who describes himself as "a recovering bean counter," brought a business-like

approach to FTS. For example, under the FTS 2001 contract, which replaced

FTS 2000 last year, Fischer secured lower rates for long-distance service

from the contract's winners, Sprint and MCI WorldCom. The prices, which

are targeted to hit a penny a minute in the later years of the contract,

are estimated to save the government $4 billion over the contract's eight-year

life cycle.

Fischer also oversaw GSA's groundbreaking $9 billion desktop outsourcing

pact, called Seat Management, which enables an agency to outsource to a

private company all the hardware, software and support services of its networks.

After a slow start, the contract has attracted many agencies.

Fischer moved to GSA in 1992 to take the chief financial officer job,

and in 1997, GSA Administrator David Barram asked him to head FTS after

former commissioner Bob Woods left for the private sector.

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