GSA considers establishing IPv6 program office

With the deadline for agencies to be IP Version 6-ready set for mid-2008, General Services Administration officials are considering establishing a program office to guide GSA’s compliance, and something could develop in the next several months, a senior GSA official said today.

John Johnson, GSA’s assistant commissioner for Integrated Technology Service, said he and Jim Williams, Federal Acquisition Service commissioner, have discussed such a program office. They are in “vehement” agreement about it and are in the beginning stages of talks, Johnson said.

“We need some kind of champion for IPv6 across [GSA’s] entire [information technology] portfolio,” he said in a speech at the Federal Networks 2007 conference.

The Office of Management and Budget mandated in 2005 that agencies have an IPv6-ready network backbone by June 2008. Continuing on an evolution to IPv6-capable IT systems makes the deadline only a starting point, administration officials working closely with IPv6 transitions have said.

GSA must address the migration to IPv6, Johnson said.
Speaking with reporters, he said the notion of a program office is on the drawing board. Officials are mulling over what the office would do, specifically what its goals and objectives would be. They are analyzing the migration’s size and complexity regarding GSA's Networx contract, governmentwide acquisition contract programs and Schedules.

“We are developing a mission statement right now” so that the program manager would have a clear job description, Johnson said.

GSA already will include in contracts, such as Networx, the IPv6 requirements to meet related policies, he said. Therefore, customers “already know that there’s safe harbor because IPv6 is part of the Networx program,” he said.

Asked about OMB support, Johnson said he believes the agency would support anything that furthers the policy.

“If a policy says, ‘thou shall,’ we’re trying to make it real,” he said about GSA’s efforts.

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