GSA aims for early Networx awards

The General Services Administration wants to significantly beat the current official award dates for the two parts of its $20 billion Networx telecommunications procurement, an agency official said today.

Fred Schobert, GSA's program manager for Networx, said that GSA will attempt to issue awards for the Universal and Enterprise parts of the procurement before March and May 2007, respectively. He spoke to Washington Technology after giving a presentation on Networx to members of industry at the TeleStrategies Federal Networks 2006 conference today in Vienna, Va.

Schobert would not give a specific time frame when GSA would like to issue the awards.

"When we work an evaluation, it depends on a lot of factors and it depends on our ability to hold significant discussions, obviously, with industry as well, and we're not going to put any more specifics on the timetable than what we've issued," he said.

GSA has sent notifications to each of the Universal offerors to attend a fact-finding session to discuss their offers for the procurement with government officials, said Schobert, who also is GSA's director of program management and technology requirements. GSA will hold meetings with each bidder over a series of days, he added, but declined to give further details.

The huge number of responses from industry, the complexity of the Networx procurement and further program discussions prompted the GSA in January to extend the award dates from the previous milestones of July 2006 and September 2006, respectively.

The Universal part of Networx will provide government locations with a broad range of telecom services nationwide, while the Enterprise part will offer a range of specialized Internet protocol or wireless services in specific geographical areas. GSA will issue multiple awards under Networx, but it has not stated a specific number.

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