GSA signs sole source extension of FTS 2001 Bridge

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Federal agencies laggardly in their transition to the General Services Administration's Networx telecommunication vehicle now have until the summer of 2012 to get off their existing FTS 2001 Bridge contracts.

That's because the General Services Administration approved Dec. 8 a second sole-source contract extension of FTS 2001 services with providers Sprint (NYSE: S) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) following worries that some agencies will still not have transitioned to Networx once the existing FTS 2001 sole source extension expires in May and June of this year.

FTS 2001 contracts were originally supposed to have expired in December 2006 and January 2007 (first for Sprint, secondly for Verizon), but GSA has kept them alive first through the Bridge contract and will continue to do so through what it's calling the FTS 2001 Sole Source Bridge Follow-on. GSA developed the first sole source extension when it proved tardy in developing Networx, but agencies have subsequently proved to be languid in their efforts to transition to the new contract vehicle.

Although GSA has recently said that agencies availing themselves of the second sole source extension would face higher GSA management fees, that in fact won't be the case, writes Karl Krumbholz, GSA's director of network services programs, in a blog post.

"Given the time remaining until the Follow-on Bridge contract must be in place and the time required to implement such a change, we have decided that it is not possible to implement a fee change at this time," he says.

GSA had at one time considered allowing agencies to continue FTS 2001 services through a sole source Networx task order done without a Fair Opportunity competition, an option that received mixed support in industry.

The justification and approval for the sole source extensions will be online on FBO.gov in mid-January, Krumbholz adds.

 For more:
- read a blog post, and an earlier one, by Karl Krumbholz on the FTS-2001 second sole source extension

Related Articles:
GSA: Agencies that stay on FTS 2001 face increased fees
GSA pushes Networx deadline for third time - UPDATED
Q&A: Karl Krumbholz on Networx