Davis seeks review of telecom awards

MAA progra

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) has asked the General Accounting Office to review the General Services Administration's methods for choosing winning vendors on its governmentwide local telecommunications contracts.

GSA's Federal Technology Service oversees the multiple Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) contracts, which agencies can use to procure local telecommunications services for their offices across the country. The MAA program is administered by each of the FTS regions and has contracts in more than 19 cities so far.

The April 8 letter to Comptroller General David Walker follows up on vendor concerns and focuses on the "fair consideration" process that GSA uses to ensure all vendors are given equal opportunity to compete for MAA service orders.

"I question whether GSA's fair consideration decisions are properly supported," Davis wrote. "I am concerned whether GSA is following a consistent and uniform approach to fair consideration."

GAO already is working on a broad review of the program and GSA's management, looking at implementation delays and varying fees and practices. That review also was prompted by a request from Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology and Procurement Policy Subcommittee.

At a hearing in June 2001, GAO officials testified that an initial review of the New York City contracts found agencies confused by GSA's fees. Vendors at the hearing also criticized GSA's management of the awards and the contracts, including several times when a service order awarded by an agency was taken away from a vendor because of the fair consideration process.

The new review will be folded into the ongoing MAA review, but Davis wanted to emphasize that he considers this issue an important part of that review, said David Marin, Davis' spokesman.

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