Tony Bardo, assistant vice president of government solutions at Hughes Network Systems, discusses why vendors want GSA to push back the EIS telecom contract’s solicitation deadline.
Agencies have until March 31 to release their solicitations for the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contract, even though the government shutdown delayed acquisition work at several agencies. According to FCW, several contractors say the deadline is now unworkable. Tony Bardo, assistant vice president of government solutions at Hughes Network Systems, says that it’s unlikely the General Services Administration will see any benefits if they keep agencies to the deadline. “Common sense can say ‘Is GSA really going to gain anything by insisting on that deadline.’ I think they’re going to relax it. I think it needs to. Some of the agencies have put forth RFPs that are asking for like-for-like transitions. That’s not going to get it done either. Agencies have to transform. OMB and GSA have insisted and advised and advocated that they use this contract transition to transform and modernize, because the current technologies that have been on the books for 18 to 20 years just aren’t going to get it done in the new age,” Bardo said. “That age has a heavy emphasis on data. Data communications long overtook voice communications… 20 years ago. And data communications require much, much more bandwidth than the circuitry under the current technology today. Asking for like for like doesn’t help anybody.”