GAO fears info gaps will delay Networx rollout

Linda Koontz

The General Services Administration's lack of planning information for its next-generation telecommunications procurement puts the April 2006 award target at risk, a government auditor told lawmakers this month.

GSA has not set the scope for Networx, established criteria for evaluating proposals or determined traffic volumes for the next-generation telecommunications program, said Linda Koontz, director of information management issues for the Government Accountability Office.

'These uncertainties represent risks to potential offerers that may, in turn, affect the quality of their proposals, particularly their ability to offer the best prices to the government,' Koontz said at a hearing of the House Government Reform Committee. 'In addition, delays in establishing evaluation criteria and traffic volumes could affect GSA's ability to award the contract by April 2006 as planned.'

GSA released draft requests for proposals in November and plans to issue final RFPs next month for the deal that will replace FTS 2001.

Several industry executives who testified at the hearing said they want GSA to issue a second set of draft RFPs that will allow for public comment on changes made since the first drafts hit the street.

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