CONTRACTS

Verizon, CenturyLink take large EIS task orders

NOTE: A version of this story first appeared on FCW.com.

At the end of September the Social Security Administration awarded a pair of GSA EIS task order with a combined ceiling over over $1 billion

Verizon Business Networks won a $544 million task order and CenturyLink won a $470.3 million order. The SSA award follows Verizon's capture of a $341 million task order from the IRS.

The awards came just before GSA's deadline under the 15-year, $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Services contract.

All three task orders are set to expire in 2032.

The GSA had set Sept. 30 as a deadline for agencies to issue their EIS task orders. The date was one of three that GSA reset late in 2018 after extending is original 2020 deadline for agency transition to EIS to 2023. The reset came after federal agencies were slow to issue initial solicitations for the contract.

In August, the agency eased off the Sept. 30 deadline's significance. Allen Hill, director of the Office of Telecommunications Services in GSA's Federal Acquisition Services, said at an ACT-IAC event that missing the deadline was a "yellow light" for agencies and a sign that those agencies need to "step it up" in their EIS transition work.

Jim Williams, a partner at Schambach & Williams Consulting and a former Federal Acquisition Service commissioner, told FCW the two SSA task order awards are an encouraging sign for EIS transition, but aren't the "flood" many vendors had hoped for.

Several large agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security have yet to award task orders under EIS.

When Hill made his remarks in August, he noted three task orders had been awarded. NASA signed an $11 million EIS contract with CenturyLink in April, while the Department of Justice signed a contract with AT&T in June for almost $1 billion. The Railroad Retirement Board also contracted with AT&T -- a 13-year agreement worth up to $10 million -- a few weeks before DOJ.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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