Networx statements of work near 150

GSA's tally of statements of work illustrates complexity of transition

Agencies have written 149 statements of work to acquire telecommunications services under the General Services Administration’s Networx acquisition, according to a June 7 tally from GSA.

The agency had tried to create an à la carte menu that would let agencies easily acquire the telecom services they needed and avoid the time, expense and work of creating individual statements of work. But it didn’t quite work out that way.

The Networx acquisition has about “7,400 technical, price and management requirements that were developed with the agencies to ensure continuity of mission operations and satisfaction of future needs,” Federal Acquisition Service acting commissioner Steven Kempf in May told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Incorporating those requirements “resulted in 28 million contract line items on the eight [five on Enterprise and three on Universal] Networx contracts,” he said.

“The large increase of choices alone suggests the possibility of a lengthier and more complex transition management process,” he said.

Transitioning the federal government’s massive, mission-critical telecommunications and networking infrastructure from FTS2001 to Networx “is an inherently complex and time-consuming process,” Kempf added.

Under FTS2001, agencies were receiving 5.1 million individual services, each of which had to be transitioned to Networx, according to GSA's best estimate.

At least partly because of the diffuse ordering authority on FTS2001 — multiple agency representatives at different facilities had authority to add services — agencies did not have complete inventories of the services they were receiving, GSA officials explained.

Networx largely corrects that. Ordering authority will be restricted and GSA’s Office of Network Services will maintain its own inventories of agency services, the department’s deputy assistant commissioner said.

Many smaller agencies have been able to use the “menu,” or Networx Pricer, Karl Krumbholz said. And larger agencies have been able to use the pricer for some services. But for large, complex services packages, agencies have written 149 statements of work (SOWs), GSA said in a document released June 7.

Of the 149 SOWs, 93 have had fair opportunity awards made; 50 went to Verizon Federal Business (with 15 of those showing as going to MCI Worldcom, which Verizon acquired in 2005). AT&T Government Solutions won 37 awards, Qwest Government Services has taken 22, Sprint Nextel Corp. took 10 and one went to Level 3 Communications Inc.

One award — by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission — is still up for grabs, with proposals due by June 23. And 17 are under review by GSA and have yet to be released to vendors.

To download GSA’s list of Networx SOWs click here.

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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