GSA extends WorldCom contract

The General Services Administration announced Nov. 13 that it has extended its FTS 2001 contract with WorldCom Inc. for one year, despite the company's recent financial and legal problems.

GSA's Federal Technology Service awarded WorldCom its original four-year FTS 2001 contract for governmentwide telecommunications services in January 1999. The contract included several one-year options, and this announcement exercises the first, extending the contract to January 2004, according to GSA officials.

GSA lawyers put WorldCom under review in July after the company disclosed that its had improperly reported billions of dollars in revenue.

Under FTS 2001, WorldCom provides service to many federal agencies, including the departments of Defense, Commerce, Interior, Transportation, and Health and Human Services.

The contract extension shows that WorldCom's performance on FTS 2001 "has been consistent with the terms of the contract even after the announcements early this year of WorldCom's financial difficulties and its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing," according to a GSA statement.

"This renewal shows our customers that WorldCom and WorldCom's ability to provide services of the highest quality remain rock solid," Jerry Edgerton, senior vice president of WorldCom Government Markets, said in a statement.

However, GSA will continue to work with the Justice Department in its legal review of the company to ensure that there will be no future impact, and the agency has suspended two of WorldCom's former executives — Scott Sullivan and David Myers — from conducting business with the federal government, according to GSA.

Other agencies that hold contracts with WorldCom, including the Defense Department, are also examining the company's ability to continue to provide service.

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