Georgia issues new telecom outsourcing RFP

Prime contractors that bid on Georgia's converged telecommunications network must have annual revenue of $1 billion and $250 million cash or equivalent to compete for the contract, according to the revised request for proposal issued Aug. 8 by the Georgia Technology Authority.

Georgia suspended the bidding process for the groundbreaking outsourcing project July 12 because of the financial instability of WorldCom Inc. of Clinton, Miss. WorldCom and Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Texas, were leading two teams competing for the contract when bidding was suspended. Georgia officials revised the RFP to attract more competitors.

The annual revenue and available cash requirements are not a performance bond, but a way for the state to measure a company's financial health, said Michael Clark, a spokesman for the Georgia Technology Authority.

GTA plans to examine the financial health of the companies bidding as prime contractors throughout the evaluation and negotiation stages, state officials said.

The RFP remains basically unchanged except for the removal of some components, such as acquisition of a new data center, conversion to digital broadcasting and a highway camera system. Georgia will seek independent proposals for these items, state officials said.

The release of an addendum covering two-way interoperable radio, a component in the original RFP, is delayed pending decisions about incorporating homeland security issues in the RFP. A contract addendum and an addendum on the evaluation will be issued shortly, said state officials.

Among what is covered by the new RFP are local, long-distance and wireless phone services; high-speed online access; local area networks and personal computing equipment and support.

The RFP is available at www.gta.ga.gov. Proposals are due Nov. 15, and the contract is expected to be awarded in April 2003, with the vendor taking over operations in July 2003, state officials said.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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