Verizon takes $2.5B HHS telecom contract

Verizon has won a $2.5 billion EIS task order to provide telecommunications services for the Health and Human Services Department.

NOTE: This article first appeared on FCW.com.

The Department of Health and Human Services cut a telecommunications contract for all of its component agencies with a ceiling value north of $2.5 billion General Services Administration's governmentwide telecommunications contract.

On Aug. 12, HHS signed with Verizon Business Services on GSA's Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract. The contract extends through July, 2032, if all options are exercised.

The contract covers all 10 of the agency's operating components, as well as the agency's Office of the Secretary, according to an Aug. 28 blog post by the agency's Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan, and Scott Rowell, assistant secretary for administration. The single contract, they said, combines what would have been 11 separate contracts "all operating independently of each other and creating an infrastructure that was complex and inefficient."

Outgoing HHS CIO Jose Arrieta told FCW last summer that his agency had issued its EIS "fair opportunity" solicitation to contract vendors. He said then that the agency would be able to award and implement EIS as a "single entity."

The combined contract, said Hargan and Rowell, could save the agency as much as $700 million over its life because of the increased efficiencies in services and management.

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