GSA contract work continues

New contracts that officials at the General Services Administration are developing will provide opportunities for vendors over the next few years, according to GSA officials who spoke Wednesday at Input's MarketView 2004 conference in Falls Church, Va.

GSA is continuing work on Alliant, a multiple-award governmentwide contract that will replace two others that will soon expire. Alliant will be a 15-year contract worth up to $150 billion — at least, that is the current plan, said Tina Burnette, deputy assistant commissioner of commercial acquisition for GSA's Federal Supply Service.

The plan for Alliant has changed several times as GSA officials have worked on it, and the Office of Management and Budget may recommend further changes once officials there get a chance to approve the Alliant business case, she said. The changes have come in response to industry suggestions, among other factors.

"We wanted this to be broad in scope so it could support our government customers," she said.

Despite the uncertainties, GSA officials plan to set aside 25 percent of Alliant contracts for small businesses, she said. However, she emphasized that officials have not set a firm target for the total number of awardees. In earlier presentations, some officials had suggested there might be about 20 contracts awarded, a number that Burnette said was not meant to be firm.

"We don't know what our number is going to be," she said. "We may award 30 or 40 or 50."

GSA is also taking over the Information Technology Omnibus Procurement II contract from the Transportation Department, although that transfer is not yet complete, she noted.

Work continues on Networx, the sweeping telecommunications contract expected to replace FTS 2001 and the network of Metropolitan Area Acquisition contracts that agencies currently use, said John Johnson, assistant commissioner for service development and acting assistant commissioner for service delivery at the GSA's Federal Technology Service.

Agencies "are not only looking for price, they're looking for proven quality and reliability" when purchasing communications services, Johnson said.

The Defense Department will have several new contracts available soon as well, said Lee Harvey, deputy program executive officer for the Army.

"We're an Army at war, and we'd like to think we're reliable and ready," he said.

Some of the new opportunities will involve connecting legacy systems to more contemporary technologies, he said.

"We've ignored some of those systems for 10 or 12 years because they were going away," he said.

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