More than two years after awards were announced, agencies can now issue task orders to all nine vendors on the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract.
After more than two years, the General Services Administration’s $50 billion telecommunications contract is now truly, fully open for business, as the last two vendors were cleared to accept task orders.
GSA awarded spots in August 2017 on the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions, or EIS, contract, developed to replace the governmentwide Networx and WITS-3 contracts. The next generation contract was designed to offer an array of telecom services and spur agencies to modernize their networks.
However, before agencies could issue task orders, the winning vendors had to prove they could deliver a baseline level of cybersecurity.
To verify the security of each vendor, GSA required each company to get an authority to operate, or ATO, before agencies could issue task orders to those vendors. As of Wednesday, the final two outstanding ATOs were granted to Manhattan Telecommunications, or MetTel, and Granite Telecommunications, meaning all nine vendors are cleared to accept task orders.
While the largest vendors were able to get authorized ahead of the September 2019 task order deadline, the small- and medium-sized companies took longer. Luckily for them, agencies weren’t on top of the September deadline either, and many still have task order solicitations to issue.
GSA was OK with some schedule slippage with regard to the September deadline for agencies, but won’t be as soft on the March 2022 end date for Networx and WITS-3. Twenty-seven months after GSA announced awards on EIS, agencies now have 27 months to complete the transition to the contract.