Networx deadline stretches to 2011

GSA gives agencies until next August to transition their telecommunications services to the Networx contract.

The General Services Administration has extended by a full year — to Aug. 31, 2011 — the deadline for agencies to submit their orders to transition telecommunications services from FTS2001 to Networx.

GSA published a list of 41 agencies, many of them smaller agencies but also including GSA and most of the other cabinet-level agencies, that applied for an extension of the deadline to submit their orders and qualify to receive reimbursement for transition expenses.

At a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting May 20, committee chairman Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., complained that “we are now in the ridiculous position of being three years into a 10-year contract that we haven’t even implemented.”

Make that more like 3.5 years into a 10-year contract that hasn’t been fully implemented.

Going by GSA estimates of unrealized savings from agencies’ failure to transition to Networx at $22.4 million monthly, Towns said, “We may lose between $300 million and half a billion dollars in unrealized cost savings by next year.” That’s eight months from now, four months before the new Aug. 31, 2011 deadline.

At the hearing, Towns placed blame on the shoulders of agencies for failing to transition more quickly and the Office of Management and Budget for failing to flag their failure.

Missing from this month’s list from GSA of cabinet agencies requesting an extension are: the Education, Housing and Urban Development, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs departments.

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