Networx award delayed until 2007

The massive Networx network services contract that the General Services Administration had planned to award this summer has been delayed until next year.

GSA now plans to award Networx Universal in March 2007 and Networx Enterprise in May 2007, GSA spokesman Blake Williams said.

The sudden shift is the latest and most dramatic of a series of delays that have plagued the planned contract, which is intended to take over for FTS 2001. GSA plans for Networx to be a multiple-award contract worth as much as $20 billion over their expected 10-year span.

Bob Woods, former Federal Technology Service commissioner and now president of Topside Consulting, said GSA gave a hint that Networx would be pushed back when it extended the current FTS 2001 contracts with Sprint and MCI Jan. 17.

"I think they are finding [Networx] more complex than they expected,” Woods said. “I don’t think GSA is quite at the staffing level that they have been in the past… and they are struggling with that."

GSA's Alliant contract, expected to take over for several smaller governmentwide acquisition contracts that GSA manages, has suffered similar setbacks and delays.

Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting, said the delay is not a surprise to him, considering the size and complexity of the contract.

"With the expanded range of services that are going to be evaluated, it’s no surprise they need some more time," he said. The delay may mean GSA has decided it needs more discussion with vendors.

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