An Overview of the Federal Government's New Telecommunications System
IMTEC-90-17FS: Published: Feb 14, 1990. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 1990.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Federal Telecommunications System 2000, focusing on: (1) background data on the system's services, design, and contracts; and (2) the General Services Administration's (GSA) exemption of agencies from mandatory use of the previous system and its reviews of those exemptions since its contract awards for the new system.
GAO noted that: (1) the new system would enable users to exchange data more quickly and access remote databases; (2) the system would provide switched-voice, circuit-switched data, packet-switched data, dedicated transmission, video transmission, and switched-digital integrated services; (3) the system's contracts included provisions for service improvements; (4) GSA awarded two 10-year contracts for the system, valued at $25 billion, which included a service-pricing schedule that could not be increased over the 10-year period and an option allowing GSA to resolicit the contract in the fourth and seventh years; (5) the contracts directed GSA to work with its vendors to develop a process for making the system interoperable with other government and commercial networks; (6) the contracts required each vendor to establish a service oversight center to enable the government to monitor contract activities; (7) GSA designed a mathematical procedure to ensure that vendors' prices for identical services were similar; (8) GSA awarded a technical assistance and management contract totaling $29.4 million to supplement its oversight and management activities; (9) following the contract awards for the new system, GSA suspended 18 delegations of procurement authority for alternate telecommunications services, determined that the system would at least partially satisfy 14 of those delegations, and directed those agencies to use the new system; and (10) since the awards, GSA has not exempted any agency from using the system.