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GTE Deal One Step Closer<@VM>Tennessee Picks Winner<@VM>BellSouth Buys Stake in Qwest<@VM>GSA Pumps Sales to 8(a) Firms <@VM>State IT Spending To Be Studied <@VM>L3 Buys Interstate Electronics<@VM>Beyond.com Gets GSA Schedule<@VM>Automated for Your Auto

With the April 16 deadline to submit bids for the purchase of GTE Government Systems Division, a deal for the $1.4 billion unit moved closer to completion. GTE will narrow the field of companies with which it will negotiate a deal from those final bids, sources said.

GTE officials declined to identify the bidders. But sources said a range of heavy hitters are eyeing the unit, including Computer Sciences Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp., General Dynamics Corp., IBM Corp., ITT Industries Inc., L3 Communications Inc., Litton-PRC Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and TRW Inc. ITT and L3 are working on a joint bid that would result in splitting GTE Government Systems Division between the two.

GTE officials expect a deal to be wrapped up by the end of September. GTE of Irving, Texas, is selling its government unit to focus on core commercial telecommunications and Internet markets.
A BellSouth-Qwest team has won the competition in Tennessee's $100 million-plus project to consolidate and manage its telecommunications infrastructure.

"We will be buying our services from a managed infrastructure," said Bradley Dugger, Tennessee's chief of information systems.

State officials April 8 announced their intent to award a contract to the team led by BellSouth Corp. and Qwest Communications International Inc., for the Tennessee Information Infrastructure Consortium. Other members of the team include Electronic Data Systems Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., OAO Corp., View Tech Inc., and more than 20 local exchange carriers.

The losing team was headed by SCB Computer Technology Inc. of Memphis and included Cisco Systems and Hyperion Communications Inc.

The five-year contract likely will have the BellSouth-Qwest consortium purchase part or all of the state's existing telecommunication network.

The state must wait at least 14 days before formally awarding the contract to allow losing competitors an opportunity to review the state's selection process. Barring a protest, work will begin in May.
BellSouth Corp. of Atlanta took a $3.5 billion step into the data communications market last week, announcing plans to purchase a 10 percent stake in Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver.

The deal teams BellSouth's strength in voice communications with Qwest's focus on Internet-based data communications. BellSouth offered to pay Qwest shareholders a premium of $12.50 a share based on its April 16 close at $82.

The purchase is subject to approval by federal regulators and is expected to close by the end of May.

Sales by the General Services Administration to 8(a) companies in the greater Washington area jumped 600 percent over the last six months, thanks to a new GSA marketing effort.

In fiscal 1998, 8(a) companies received only about $8 million under GSA's Federal Acquisition Services for
Technology (FAST) program. But sales reached $24 million in the first six months of fiscal 1999 after GSA officials began a promotional push, which included accompanying 8(a)s on sales calls, said Donna Rivers, head of marketing support.

"We think that the contractors weren't that successful before because they didn't know how to use the program," she said. "They didn't know what a gold mine they had."

There are more than 100 Washington area 8(a) companies in the FAST program, which was started in 1997 to provide a quick, low-cost buying service for IT products and services.
Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va., is partnering with the National Association of State Information Resource Executives to conduct surveys relating to the states' information technology policies and expenditures.

The first survey will provide a rundown of the states' IT spending and will be available in June or July, said Thomas Davies, a senior vice president with Federal Sources.

Federal Sources and NASIRE, the primary membership organization for state chief information officers, agreed to the partnership at NASIRE's semiannual conference in Seattle last month.

Other periodic surveys will examine areas such as state IT policy in human resources and how many people the states employ in IT-related jobs.
L3 Communications Inc. of New York gave its missile instrumentation business a boost April 19 when it reached an agreement to buy Interstate Electronics Corp. from Scott Technologies Inc. of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, for $60 million.

Interstate Electronics Corp., which is based in Anaheim, Calif., is a supplier of test instrumentation and missile tracking systems for the Navy's Fleet Ballistic Missile weapons systems, including the Trident submarine.

The division, which also makes global positioning systems used on aircraft, cruise missiles and precision guided bombs, was represented in the deal by Quarterdeck Investment Partners of Los Angeles.
Internet software company Beyond.com of Sunnyvale, Calif., has been awarded a General Services Administration schedule to sell software to government agencies and employees.

GSA estimates that software sales make up nearly one-quarter, or $650 million, of annual sales from the GSA schedule.

Beyond.com's government customers include the Defense Logistics Agency and National Imagery and Mapping Agency. Government customers can buy the software online from Beyond.com's government software store at www.beyond.com/gov/htm. The schedule includes special prices.

American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., is teaming with Revenue Systems Inc. of Alpharetta, Ga., to provide state governments with automated systems for registering motor vehicles.

The companies announced an agreement in which AMS will have exclusive licensing and distribution rights to RSI's Vehicle Registration and Titling System software. AMS is implementing the RSI software for the Utah State Tax Commission's Division of Motor Vehicles.

"This combination gives us exceptionally strong offerings to continue our rapid growth in serving this marketplace," said Ross Kory, general manager of AMS' state and local government practice.

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