DOT curbs ITOP buys

The Transportation Department's Information Technology Omnibus Procurement, which has handled more than $2 billion in task orders governmentwide, will no longer be open to business from agencies outside the department.

DOT officials have decided not to seek an extension to its executive agent status, which made it possible to open the information technology services contract governmentwide, DOT's chief financial officer, Donna McLean, said last week.

The status, which was due to expire in April 2002, had been extended until June while the department reviewed an audit by the DOT inspector general, which concluded that the program did not generate enough revenue to cover its expenses.

"DOT reviewed the IG report, agreed that ITOP was losing money and did not seek an extension," McLean said. "However, ITOP will still be functioning within DOT, and if we improve our management over the next few years, we may reapply for executive agent status."

DOT was a secondary user of the program with about $200 million in procurements — just 8 percent of the $2.4 billion awarded to ITOP contractors, according to the IG report.

"Overall, we found that ITOP has not served DOT's mission as envisioned, is not financially self-sufficient and has received little oversight from DOT management," DOT Inspector General Kenneth Mead said in his report.

DOT is considering using ITOP as a vehicle for the new Transportation Security Administration's information technology systems, an official said. The contract for TSA's IT infrastructure, which has not been released, could be worth $1 billion or more, according to sources.

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