AT&T protests FTS 2001 awards, seeks new competition

AT&T protests FTS 2001 awards, seeks new competition

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

APRIL 30—AT&T Corp., an unsuccessful bidder on the General Services Administration's multibillion-dollar FTS 2001 program, has filed a protest of contracts awarded to Sprint Corp. and WorldCom Inc. and wants the competition reopened.

The protest, filed April 27 with the contracting officer of GSA's Federal Technology Service, alleged that the agency has materially changed program requirements, invalidating the contracts. The protest is based on a critical General Accounting Office review of the prolonged FTS 2001 transition, which GAO issued April 26.

AT&T, along with Sprint, was a major provider of long distance services to the government under the FTS 2000 program. It lost much of that business when the FTS 2001 contracts were awarded to Sprint and WorldCom in December 1998 and January 1999, respectively. Each company is guaranteed a minimum of $750 million over the life of the nonmandatory contracts. AT&T, which has been awarded a number of FTS local service contracts, has asked to be allowed to compete for the long-distance service under FTS programs that permit crossover between contracts. So far, that has not been allowed, partly because of concerns about the minimum revenue guarantees.

The protest argued that GSA has abandoned a transition management database requirement; relaxed customer support, billing, personnel and program management requirements; and substantially altered the field of competition. GSA had not reviewed the protest and was not able to comment on it as of this morning.

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