House panel calls hearing: Why is Networx transition late?

Telecommunications contract gets more scrutiny as transition lags

The full House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing April 29 to examine why the transition to Networx is behind schedule.

Federal agencies were slated to be nearly finishing transferring their major telecommunications from the General Services Administration’s FTS2001 contract to its new Networx contracts by now.

“With as much as 62 percent of the transition incomplete, the federal government is losing approximately $18 million in savings for every month” the transition is delayed, said Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), the committee's chairman.

FTS2001 bridge contracts will expire this summer. One-year continuity-of-service agreements are scheduled to end in June 2011, and GSA has vowed not to extend them.

The hearing will focus on what is causing the continued delay in the transition to Networx, what steps the federal government has taken to assist and expedite the transition effort, and what problems private telecommunications companies are encountering with the program’s procurement process, among other issues, Edolphus said in a press release.

The hearing is set for 10:00 a.m. Thursday in Room 2154 at the Rayburn House Office Building.

Government witnesses invited to testify include: GSA administrator Martha Johnson, Interior Department Chief Information Officer and Interagency Management Council chairman Sanjeev Bhagowalia.

Networx contract-holder representatives invited to testify include: AT&T Networx program director Jeff Mohan, Level 3 Federal general manager Edward Morche, Qwest Government Services general manager Diana Gowen, Sprint Nextel senior vice president Bill White, and Verizon Federal Group President Susan Zeleniak.

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

Reader Comments

Tue, Apr 27, 2010 OR

I have an important T1 still on FTS. I brought this up to the person at HQ, who told me "don't worry, we're working on it" - some time ago now. I figured I would go to the Networx web site, where it was supposed to be "easy" to set up what you need and get prices, etc., to help out. Right!!! Totally impossible to get any point of service information at all. I suppose the agency people are going to leave me chewing my nails right up to the deadline, like the last transition.

Tue, Apr 27, 2010

Why have the contract holders attend this hearing? They can't affect the transiton. Have the CIO's of the agencies who have not transitioned be in the hot seat. It's not GSA or the contract holders.

Mon, Apr 26, 2010 Observer Washington DC

The primary reason the transition is behind schedule is that (1) transition is a very difficult, disruptive and time consuming task and (2) Agencies donot have the expertise and resources to adequately conduct an acquisition and perform the transition. The savings isnt the primary driver for the Agency

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