Davis moves to block controversial Treasury mega-contract

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) has called on the Office of Electronic Government to intervene in the Treasury Department's plans to award its own contentious billion-dollar communications contract instead of using the General Services Administration's Networx telecommunications program.

The Virginia congressman, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, issued a letter today asking Karen Evans, administrator of e-government and information technology within the Office of Management and Budget, to intercede in the matter and step up her support for his efforts to stop Treasury from awarding the Treasury Communications Enterprise contract.

The 10-year, $1 billion TCE contract, scheduled for award this spring, would run counter to the federal government's efforts to consolidate telecommunications purchases under the GSA's Networx contract by giving Treasury its own communications acquisition vehicle. The Networx contracts are scheduled to be awarded in 2007.

To further make his case against TCE, Davis pointed out that that the Homeland Security Department, whose communications requirements are more complex than those of Treasury, publicly announced its intention to use Networx as its main acquisition vehicle.

Evans' office previously had indicated its support for Davis' endeavors to move Treasury toward GSA's Network contract.

In his letter, Davis also recalled that earlier this year Treasury's inspector general found that the department had inadequately handled the TCE acquisition and recommended that the department consider dropping it.

Treasury first awarded the TCE contract to the former AT&T Corp. in December 2004, but the deal was overturned after the department disclosed a private agreement with GSA and OMB to migrate to GSA's Networx contract when that contract was finalized. Treasury later changed its mind and decided to proceed with TCE, arguing that Networx would not meet its needs.

Davis has opposed the TCE contract for the last two years, arguing that it goes against efforts to ensure that the federal government has an efficient and well-managed communications environment.

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