Last two EIS vendors expect ATOs by end of year

NOTE: This article first appeared on FCW.com.

Then there were two.

That’s the number of telecommunications vendors for the General Services Administration’s $50 billion, 15-year Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract that have yet to receive official sign-off to provide services under the telecommunications vehicle.

That may not be the case for long, however.

Of the nine vendors tapped for GSA’s EIS contract, only Granite Telecommunications and MetTel had not received their authorities to operate as of Dec. 4. Knowledgeable telecommunications industry sources told FCW that GSA has indicated the remaining ATOs would be out by the middle of December.

EIS vendors must have an ATO for the contract before they can provide services to federal agencies, even though they’re free to respond to agency solicitations.

In mid-October, when there were four EIS carriers without an ATO, Alan Thomas, the now-former commissioner for the agency’s Federal Acquisition Service, said two of the carriers would likely get them by Thanksgiving, with the remaining two receiving theirs by the end of the calendar year.

Two of those four companies have gotten the authority since Thomas’ remarks. Microtech got its ATO at the end of October. On Nov. 26, GSA said it had granted Core Technologies an ATO.

GSA is set this week to issue a new monthly report on EIS back-office systems testing that marks vendors’ progress towards completing the system and security testing that leads to an ATO.

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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