The shutdown won't have a significant impact on transition planning for the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, according to one contracting expert. Major IT acquisition vehicles also continue to operate -- at least for now.
The current federal shutdown is unlikely to impact federal agencies' IT modernization planning under the General Services Administration's huge next-generation telecommunications contract, said Alan Chvotkin, senior vice president and general counsel at the Professional Services Council.
Chvotkin also told FCW the shutdown won't impact affected agencies' longer-term plans to leverage GSA's $50 billion, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions next-generation telecommunications contract.
GSA's recent announcement to extend the EIS transition two years to 2023 has given agencies some breathing room for longer-term planning, he said. Federal agencies had been up against a looming 2020 deadline to shift their telecommunications contracts over to EIS, leveraging the new capabilities in it to boost their overall IT modernization efforts. Experts from the telecommunications industry and federal market analysts had anticipated the extension for months after only a few agencies advanced EIS modernization plans last year.
With the extension, Chvotkin said, the shutdown would have to continue for weeks to make a dent in current planning processes. "Even if there is some slippage in those EIS activities, it can be made up fairly quickly," he said.
GSA's biggest IT contracts are also still operating as the shutdown grinds on. The Federal Acquisition Service, with its multiple award contracts and schedules, such as IT Schedule 70, is funded by fees levied on contract sales and not by direct appropriations, he said. That means it can operate as long as those funds hold out. FAS, Chvotkin said, "is open for business" to agencies that are funded.
NASA’s SEWP governmentwide acquisition contract, which also runs on fees, is operating as well, he said. SEWP’s web page notes it "will remain operational and available for the foreseeable future." However the SEWP program office said it would have to review its plans if the shutdown "continues for an extended period of time."
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