GSA nears opening telecom pacts

Vendors prepare questions for GSA on FTS 2001

Telecommunications providers with an interest in the General Services Administration's FTS 2001 long-distance contract are busy compiling questions and concerns after briefings last month by the agency about plans to expand the deal to more competitors.

GSA Federal Technology Service officials spelled out their plans for a FTS 2001 contract "crossover," which would enable vendors holding either an FTS 2001 contract (currently WorldCom Inc. and Sprint) or one of 28 Metropolitan Area Acquisition local-service contracts to compete on another telecom contract. GSA officials unveiled the plan at a meeting of the Industry Advisory Council's telecom shared-interest group June 28. The group will submit questions and recommendations to GSA by July 16. GSA plans to issue final crossover guidelines Aug. 17.

For Qwest Communications International Inc., one company that has pushed GSA to open FTS 2001 to competition, a clearer definition of "government's best interest" is needed, said company senior vice president Jim Payne. GSA officials have said vendors that want to join FTS 2001 must demonstrate that their proposals are in the best interest of the government, which means their offerings may, for example, increase competition and attract more agencies to the service.

Payne said he's concerned about the disparity between the 8 percent overhead rate of FTS 2001 and the 1 percent rate of GSA's Federal Supply Schedule services. If a vendor offers similar services on both, agencies would have little reason to buy off the more expensive FTS 2001 contract, he said.

"I think there are many questions that need to be asked" of GSA, Payne said.

WorldCom, which was awarded an original FTS 2001 contract in 1999, wants to ensure that GSA requires new contract holders to meet all contract requirements, as it had to do, said spokeswoman Natasha Haubold. "WorldCom has always supported competition as long as it is fair competition," she said.

Sprint spokesman John Polivka said his company is pleased that past performance will be a factor in awarding new contract work and that GSA is ensuring that vendors must meet all contract requirements. "Those elements help to level the playing field."

According to the GSA presentation, any company wishing to join FTS 2001 must already hold an MAA contract and comply with FTS 2001 technical and management requirements. Crossover proposals also must include at least one of the 10 original FTS 2001 services—such as switched voice, frame relay or videoconferencing—or an enhanced or emerging service. Companies also must use FTS 2001 pricing structures.

Opening FTS 2001 follows principles jointly developed by Congress, industry, agencies and GSA in 1997, said John Johnson, assistant commissioner for GSA's Office of Service Development. GSA had planned to look at widening competition after WorldCom and Sprint finished moving agencies to FTS 2001, which they did in June.

"We're excited at the opportunity to bring greater value and choice to our customers," he said.

AT&T, an FTS 2000 contract holder that was passed over for FTS 2001, requested in a protest that GSA recompete FTS 2001 because the agency altered the contract after the award to WorldCom and Sprint. The General Accounting Office rejected the protest last month, saying it did not fall within its jurisdiction.

NEXT STORY: Va. adds telecommuting incentive

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.