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In March 1972, the General Services Administration (GSA) awarded a fixed-price requirements-type contract known as the National Teleprocessing Services (NTS) contract. This contract was a mandatory source for all government users requiring teleprocessing services and consisted of interactive timesharing and remote batch access to a database under a nationwide teleprocessing network. The initial contract period, subject to annual renewals, was not to exceed 54 months. However, almost twice this initial contract period has passed, and current extensions run to 1981 and 1983 for two dedicated systems. In October 1974, GSA contracted for a sole-source, 12-month lease of a dedicated teleprocessing system exclusively for the Federal Building Fund accounting system. To ensure that dedicated service would be available for the accounting system without disruptions in processing, GSA modified the NTS contract. To enhance competition within the automatic data processing (ADP) teleprocessing services environment, GSA established the Teleprocessing Services Program (TSP). It issued a directive to all federal agencies that the TSP would become the mandatory means by which federal agencies would acquire commercial teleprocessing services. However, GSA exercised its options of its own NTS contract by extending it once more, even though all other federal agencies were required to use the TSP program. GSA has been developing a long-range plan to replace its in-house ADP equipment because this equipment is outdated and inadequate to meet increasing data processing requirements. Until a fully competitive procurement can be executed and the internal ADP systems can be converted to the newly acquired resource, GSA has determined that it still requires the NTS dedicated systems.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
General Services Administration 1. The Administrator of GSA should (1) not exercise the GSA option to extend the NTS contracts beyond their current expiration dates, and (2) take prompt action to insure that the current NTS workload will be processed by competitively awarded contracts when the current NTS contract extensions expire and until the planned long-range ADP resource is acquired.
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