Davis widens telecom contracts probe

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) is expanding his investigation of the General Services Administration's management of telecommunications contracts with a request to look into delays in shifting local government telecom users to lower-cost contracts.

Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology and Procurement Policy Subcommittee, said Friday that he will ask the General Accounting Office to investigate delays in the implementation of the GSA Federal Technology Service's Metropolitan Area Acquisition contracts.

The subcommittee will hold a hearing on the subject June 13, and Davis also has scheduled a hearing on delays in the FTS 2001 transition for April 26.

GSA has awarded 20 MAA contracts valued at $4.1 billion to local telecommunications service providers in cities across the country. This week, the agency announced the first award of a crossover contract to Verizon Communications, which will allow the company to re-enter the New York City market and compete with AT&T for business. The first MAA contract was awarded to AT&T for New York City in May 1999.

MAAs have promoted competition in local markets, and GSA expects to award crossover awards to MAA contract holders for Chicago and San Francisco in the coming months, said Sandra Bates, GSA FTS commissioner, speaking during a keynote speech April 3 at the GSA/FTS Network Services Conference 2001 in Las Vegas.

"Our strategy remains solid as we move to the future," she said.

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