Davis threatens TCE funding

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) could try to cut funding for the Treasury Department's Treasury Communications Enterprise contract, a Davis spokesman confirmed today.

Davis, an opponent of Treasury's desire to create its own contract rather than use existing vehicles and the forthcoming General Services Administration Networx contracts, told reporters at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that he might try to end the contract's funding.

Davis, chairman of the Government Reform Committee, had seemingly persuaded Treasury officials to drop their plans for TCE in 2005. Several months later, however, Treasury reconsidered and said it would go ahead with the contract.

Davis spokesman Drew Crockett confirmed Davis' intentions in a prepared statement.

"It's no secret that Chairman Davis does not support agencies erecting stovepipe infrastructures. TCE fosters the perpetuation or creation of duplicative administrative procurement functions across government that is far more costly and far less efficient than centrally managed core infrastructure procurements. Working with appropriators to cut TCE's funding is an option that the chairman is more than willing to pursue."

Treasury had awarded the contract to AT&T, but losing companies successfully protested. Treasury officials had agreed, shortly before awarding the contract, to consider moving to Networx after the initial three-year base period. The companies that protested argued that their bids had been prepared on the assumption that the agency was likely to exercise option years and keep TCE in place for 10 years.

After the protests were upheld, Davis renewed his efforts to convince Treasury to drop TCE altogether and make use of existing contracts.

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