WorldCom's woes

"Reopening the bid process at this time is necessary, because the conditions under which WorldCom prequalified for the bid are no longer valid," said Larry Singer, state chief information officer and executive director of the Georgia Technology Authority.

Georgia will revise work requirements and seek new proposals for its major communications outsourcing project in response to the uncertain prospects of WorldCom Inc., state officials said.

Two teams, one led by WorldCom Inc. of Clinton, Miss., and the other by Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Texas, submitted bids in June on the 10-year, $1.9 billion Georgia Convergent Communications Outsourcing Project. If WorldCom had been disqualified or unable to compete, that would have left the state with only one team bidding for the project.

"Reopening the bid process at this time is necessary, because the conditions under which WorldCom prequalified for the bid are no longer valid," said Larry Singer, state chief information officer and executive director of the Georgia Technology Authority.

The Georgia Advantage team led by WorldCom includes Accenture Ltd., Alltell Corp., Bell South Telecommunications Inc., IBM Corp. and Motorola. The Connect Georgia team led by EDS includes AT&T Corp., Bell South Telecommunications Inc., Convergent Media Systems Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Motorola Inc. and Science Applications International Corp.

Although the new request for proposal will delay the planned award schedule for outsourcing project, the start date will remain July 1, 2003.

At the same time, in New Jersey, state officials are moving to hire Affiliated Computer Services Inc. to take over the state's troubled E-Zpass toll collection system from WorldCom Inc., state officials said July 11.

New Jersey fired WorldCom July 2 as the contractor for its E-Zpass system. State officials are reviewing WorldCom's contract performance to see whether to keep a portion of the $200 million performance bond the company posted as part of the original contract.

The N.J. Department of Transportation will make the award to ACS of Dallas under the provisions of the state's emergency contracting situation, said Micah Rasmussen, a department spokesman. He said there were documented cases of New Jersey residents receiving as many as 40 erroneous delinquent notices through the mail in one day while WorldCom held the contract.

The value of the award has not yet been determined.

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