Networx Enterprise deadline extended -- again

Bidders on the Networx Enterprise contract will have until Oct. 24 to submit their proposals. The General Services Administration announced the extension, the third for Enterprise, today. The deadline had previously been Oct. 7.

There was no similar change to the date for Networx Universal. The deadline remains Oct. 5.

GSA spokeswoman Mary Alice Johnson said the decision to extend the Enterprise deadline came after determining that the extension would not further delay the award of the contract.

"For the past several months, we have focused on preparing for the anticipated workload and the process we will undertake to evaluate Networx proposals," Johnson said in an e-mail message. "Given those considerations, we felt we could offer Enterprise respondees a few more weeks to submit their proposals without jeopardizing the anticipated Networx award dates. Given that we do not anticipate a delay in our milestones, we determined that by affording industry additional time, it would result in better-quality proposals in the end run that will serve everyone well."

Bids on both contracts were originally due in early August, and GSA planned to award the contracts in April 2006. Two 30-day extensions pushed the deadlines into early September and then early October. The expected award dates, meanwhile, slipped to July 2006 for Universal and September 2006 for Enterprise.

Universal and Enterprise are the two parts of Networx, the 10-year telecommunications contract to be awarded next year. Universal will provide a broad range of network and communications services nationwide, while Enterprise will offer a narrower range of services in limited geographic areas.

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