GAO hangs up on Qwest FTS 2000 protest

GAO hangs up on Qwest FTS 2000 protest

The General Accounting Office has dismissed a challenge to the sole-source FTS 2000 contract extensions awarded in December to Sprint Corp. and AT&T Corp.

Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver protested that it should have had a chance to compete for the business. In a June 25 decision, GAO said Qwest could not meet the contract requirements and so was ineligible to protest.

The General Services Administration extended the FTS 2000 contracts for two years in December 1998 to give agencies time to migrate to the new FTS 2001 contracts awarded to Sprint and WorldCom Inc. This past December, the agency again extended the contracts, by another year for AT&T and by six months for Sprint.

Qwest initially had protested the final extension with GSA, which also dismissed the protest.

The extensions required that long-distance service be available throughout the United States, and Qwest could not comply. When it acquired the regional Bell operating company US West Communications Inc., it was barred from providing long-distance service in US West's former 14-state territory.

'W. Jackson

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