DISA Nearing Completion on Certain EIS Task Orders

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The Defense Information Systems Agency, which is leading the move to EIS for the Defense Department, reported the pandemic has not slowed transition progress.

The Defense Department is making progress in the transition to the General Services Administration's $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contracting vehicle despite the time it took to develop an “entirely new business strategy,” according to the Defense Information Systems Agency. 

DISA, which is leading the move off Networx to EIS for DOD via its Defense Information Technology Contract Organization, said issuance of 52 task orders is “nearing completion” in a press release Tuesday. The coronavirus pandemic has neither stopped nor slowed the transition effort, according to DISA’s press release. 

Networx is GSA’s current telecommunications contract; agencies are also moving task orders off legacy WITS-3 and local service agreements to EIS. Networx, WITS-3 and local service agreements will expire in 2023. Agencies had until Oct. 1 to modify these legacy contracts to address problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic. By March 31, agencies must be at least 50% of the way moved off Networx. 

Christina Severino, DISA’s telecommunications contracting division chief, confirmed to Nextgov in an email DOD is on track to meet the March deadline, but she added that “uncertainties surrounding the pandemic presents a risk area that must be monitored.” 

More than half of the task orders associated with consolidating Networx, WITS-3 and local service agreements for individual circuits into one order per specialized program have been awarded at “substantial cost avoidance,” the release noted. Twenty-nine of 52 task orders have been awarded, and four are awaiting proposals from industry. Three more task orders are being prepared for release to industry and 16 are being evaluated, according to DISA. 

Severino said awards for these task orders are estimated through the second quarter of 2021. DISA estimates the transition will generate 44% annual cost savings across the entire department, which translates to about $40 million per year. 

DOD is not engaging in a like-for-like transition to swap legacy services for equivalent options under EIS. Instead, it crafted a new business strategy to modernize via EIS, according to the release. Douglas Packard, the DISA official serving as the department’s executive agent for EIS transition, said time spent on developing the new strategy has been well worth it.

“The results are extremely positive and reflect the department’s commitment to modernization,” Packard said. “While it would have been easy to move quickly and simply procure the same services under EIS, warfighters deserves [sic] the best with solutions that support them well into the future.” 

The House Oversight and Reform Committee included metrics for the transition off Networx in the August edition of the biannual Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act Scorecard. By July, DOD had moved 28% of task orders off Networx. An October GSA report tracking transition data through Sep. 2020 indicated DOD disconnected from 29.3% of services under the pre-EIS contracts.   

Of the 17 large agencies transitioning, only five had issued all their EIS task orders, according to the GSA report. EIS task orders were due Sept. 30, 2019.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated with comments from DISA. 

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