The General Services Administration has extended the deadline for their Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract by three years. It’s the latest move in a contract that’s gone on for many years already. Tony Bardo, assistant vice president of government solutions at Hughes Network Systems, says that while speed is key, the agencies’ pace is glacial.
“The most important thing is speed, speed of moving forward on the fair opportunity RFP’s themselves. Here we are three months after the deadline of getting these things out of door, and we have agencies that have just released them and some still to release them. Speed is important,” Bardo said. “You’ve got a lot of people interested in this contract and I think there’s a lot of money to be saved and service improvement to be made by moving to the new contract. The delay is just not good for the government.”
Gary Wall, CEO of Coastal Communications Consulting Group, says that the issue with GSA’s deadlines is that they’re not very enforceable.
“GSA’s in a tough position. They have to end this contract sooner or later. It can’t indefinitely be extended. Certainly, if you’re one of the non-incumbents and you’ve invested a lot of money to capture a contract of this size, you need for that to move,” Wall told Government Matters. “The unfortunate position is that while they have to end this contract, they have no authority to make things happen outside of the GSA’s sphere of influence. They can ask, they can insist, they can encourage, But they’re not the boss of the agencies. The agencies have to respond.”