Governmentwide Initiatives:

Critical Issues Facing the Post-FTS 2000 Program

T-AIMD-95-108: Published: Mar 21, 1995. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 1995.

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GAO discussed the critical issues facing the Post-Federal Telecommunications Systems 2000 (Post-FTS 2000) Program. GAO noted that: (1) few federal users and industry officials favor the mandaatory use of Post-FTS 2000, because they believe it is inherently anticompetitive and could result in higher prices; (2) Post-FTS 2000 program management remains an open issue since several officials have questioned the General Services Administration's (GSA) ability to manage the program given GSA downsizing efforts; (3) the Post-FTS 2000 strategy states that it is no longer effective to separate long-distance and local telecommunications services, however, the proposed strategy limits itself to long-distance telecommunications, with no indication of when it will address issues of local telecommunication services; (4) the Post-FTS 2000 strategy recognizes the importance of interoperability, yet it does not indicate how it will be met; (5) if the Post-FTS 2000 program is to successfully meet the government's operational requirements, the government must first clearly describe its requirements; (6) although the program strategy briefly mentions that Post-FTS 2000 will provide security and privacy for its users, it does not describe what levels of security will be made available; (7) under the proposed strategy, vendors cannot compete as specialized service providers unless they can offer all available services; and (8) one of the stated objectives of Post-FTS 2000 is to support the National Information Infrastructure and the recommendations of the National Performance Review, although it seems unlikely that this will actually occur.

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