recommended reading

Here Comes GSA's Next Governmentwide Telecom Contract Vehicle


The General Services Administration’s information technology contracting office is seeking industry feedback on plans for the next governmentwide contract vehicle for telecommunications and related services.

GSA is in the process of developing Network Services 2020, or NS2020, a slate of approved vendors offering everything from basic telephone and data services to niche satellite and infrastructure contracts for federal agencies. The request for information posted Tuesday seeks industry feedback on how GSA should structure that global contracting vehicle.

GSA will begin soliciting bids in fiscal 2015 from vendors who want to be part of the NS2020 contract vehicle, according to the RFI. Contracts with the vendors approved under NS2020 will likely be available for 15 years or for 10 years with five option years, the RFI said.

NS2020 will replace Networx, a similar global contract vehicle for telecom services that’s set to expire soon, but will include a broader suite of services.

NS2020, Networx and other GSA contract vehicles work something like a menu of services. GSA vets and approves vendors to provide specific services, but those vendors must still compete for actual agency contracts.

Agencies’ transition to Networx from its predecessor contract vehicle FTS 2001 progressed slowly, resulting in lost savings of more than $300 million, according to a December 2013 Government Accountability Office report. GAO blamed the delays on overly complicated acquisition procedures and diminishing contracting expertise at agencies.

Whether NS2020 can be designed in such a way that it cuts down on that transition time will be vital to whether the program proves successful or not, said John Johnson, a partner with the consultant Deep Water Point and former assistant commissioner for GSA’s Integrated Technology Service, which managed Networx.

Johnson also suggested lowering the fees GSA receives from new agency contracts under the NS2020 vehicle. Those fees were typically 7 percent under Networx. That would reduce agencies’ transition costs and also give GSA an added incentive to find operational savings to make up for the diminished fees, Johnson said.

“Defining what is to be purchased isn’t the hard part,” he said. “The hard part is how you operate and maintain [NS2020] efficiently and effectively so the transitions aren’t so long. It’s not so much what you buy but how you buy and deliver it that’s going to make the difference.”

(Image via hxdyl/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.