GSA working on new WITS contract

The General Services Administration is beginning to develop requirements for a new iteration of the Washington Interagency Telecommunications System contract that provides local telecom service for agency offices in the Washington, D.C., area.

Called WITS 3, the new contract still lacks many details, said John Johnson, assistant commissioner of service development and delivery at GSA. It will have a four-year base period followed by four one-year options and it will be a multiple award, he said. Other aspects, such as the role of small businesses in the acquisition, have not yet been finalized, he said.

The reason for the structure of base and option years is that the relationship of the contract to other GSA vehicles that include telecom and network services may change over time, Johnson said.

"We need some flexibility so that, while we provide an ample base period, we have the ability to evolve" the contract, he said, speaking to an audience composed largely of industry representatives at an Industry Advisory Council event.

WITS 3 covers Washington, D.C., and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. GSA issued a request for information in July 2005 seeking comment on it. WITS2001, the current contract, expires in January 2008.

Johnson also said the agency is gearing up to make the transition from FTS 2001 to Networx, expected to be one of the largest and most complex contract transitions in history. The agency plans to host a summit in Washington, D.C., later this year to help agencies and industry leaders prepare for the contract, to be awarded next year, he said. Although the exact date and location of the summit have not been set, it most likely will take place in September, he said.

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