Davis seeks probe of MAA management

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) has expanded his investigation into how the General Services Administration manages telecommunications contracts by looking 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 April 6 that he asked the General Accounting Office to investigate delays in implementing the GSA Federal Technology Service's Metropolitan Area Acquisition contracts. The subcommittee will hold a hearing on the subject June 13.

Davis has also scheduled an April 26 hearing on the FTS 2001 transition. A GAO report being prepared for the hearing criticizes management of the transition by GSA, agencies and the two contractors.

GSA awarded MAA contracts worth $4.1 billion to local telecommunications service providers in 20 cities. On March 30, the agency awarded its first crossover contract to Verizon Communications, which will allow the company to compete with AT&T for business in New York City. The first MAA contract was awarded to AT&T for New York in May 1999.

GSA expects to make crossover MAA awards for Chicago and San Francisco in the coming months to promote further competition, FTS Commissioner Sandra Bates said April 3 at the GSA/FTS Network Services Conference in Las Vegas. Like FTS 2001, participation in the MAA program is not mandatory, and that makes it difficult to get agencies to switch, industry sources said. Sources said customer penetration has been low since AT&T was awarded the MAA for New York two years ago.

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