GSA plans winter initiatives

The General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service is gearing up for a busy winter.

In addition to reviewing the hundreds of proposals under the two parts of the Networx telecommunications governmentwide acquisition contract, John Johnson, assistant commissioner of service development and service delivery in GSA's Integrated Technology Service, said his office will release the request for proposals for Satellite Services Program II before Dec. 31.

The SATCOM-II program will replace existing satellite services contracts, which expire in January. The new contract covers four types of services: mobile and fixed satellite services, satellite applications, satellite design, engineering and maintenance, and professional support services.

Johnson said GSA will award SATCOM-II in the spring. GSA has yet to determine a ceiling for the contract, which will be for three years with three one-year options. Market research firm Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va., estimates the award to be worth $100 million.
Johnson was the guest speaker at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association lunch on Friday. AFCEA represents government, industry and military professionals in the fields of IT, communications, and intelligence.
According to GSA's Web site for SATCOM-II, the agency planned to release the RFP this summer and make the award by Dec. 31. The new schedule puts the contract four months behind schedule.

Johnson said that even though the current satellite contracts will expire in January, agencies still will be able to issue task orders through the end of December, and buy satellite services from other contracts including FTS 2001.

SATCOM-II will be a multiple-award contract, but Johnson said he was unsure how many awards GSA would issue. GSA released two sources sought notices in May?one for all businesses and one for small disadvantaged businesses.

Johnson's office also plans to issue any changes in the 10-year multibillion-dollar Alliant information technology contract by Nov. 11. [See story.]

GSA is creating a national-level staff to oversee the contract and will shift the program's management center to Washington from San Diego. Johnson and his staff are reviewing industry comments for the Alliant draft request for proposals, which were issued March 31.

Johnson also said his office will be developing initiatives for customer supply channels?multiple award contracts, governmentwide acquisition vehicles and telecommunications contracts.

"We have various supply channels and we want to minimize conflict," Johnson said. "We want to build efficient processes to support all three supply channels and help agencies understand what they are buying and from where."

Last, Johnson said he wants to set up an agency working group to examine areas for improvements within the Integrated Technology Service. He stressed industry's involvement in the working group, saying it would "give new meaning to the phrase 'industry partner.'"

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