House panel probes causes for lag in switching to Networx

Oversight committee to questions agency and industry officials

A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to examine why the transition to Networx is behind schedule has been set for May 20.

The hearing was slated for April 29 but was postponed when it coincided with the funeral of civil rights matriarch Dorothy Height, at which President Barack Obama gave the eulogy. Committee chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., had been close to Height. In March he reintroduced the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act.

The hearing’s title, “Running Out of Time: Telecommunications Transition Delays Wasting Millions of Federal Dollars,” leaves little question of the committee’s agenda for the meeting.

The hearing will focus on what is causing the delay in transitioning 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 others.

“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, Towns said.

The hearing is set for 9:00 a.m. Thursday in Room 2154 at the Rayburn House Office Building.

Government witnesses invited to testify include GSA Administrator Martha Johnson and Interior Department Chief Information Officer and Interagency Management Council chairman Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia.

Networx contract-holder representatives invited to testify include: AT&T Government Solutions Senior Vice President Don Herring, 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.

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