82 agencies sign MOUs to gain more time to transition to EIS

More than six dozen agencies have received more time to transition to the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) vehicle to modernize voice, video and data services.

The General Services Administration signed a memorandum of understanding with 82 agencies giving them until May 31, 2024, to finish their transition to EIS and continue using their current Networx, Washington Interagency Telecommunications (WITS) and other local service contracts through the continuous of services (CoS) extension.

A GSA spokesperson said 20 CFO Act agencies, 11 large or medium agencies and 51 small ones signed the MOU.

“Signing an MOU does not mean an agency’s transition pace can slow down. The EIS contractors must continue to press hard to get the agencies’ services onto EIS, so they can be disconnected from the expiring contracts,” the spokesperson said in an email to Federal News Network.

GSA announced the option of an MOU to continue to use existing contracts for an extra year in February after it became clear that agencies needed more time to transition to EIS.

By early September, GSA said as many as 116 agencies may need to sign an MOU.

This means 34 other agencies either have completed their transition or must do so by May 31, 2023.

By November, the spokesperson said GSA will update the Networks Authorized User List (NAUL) to share with the telecommunication contractors. GSA says the NAUL informs the contractors of the agencies that will not be authorized to use the CoS period and must have all services disconnected no later than May 31, 2023.

“This November 2022 notice will allow time for agencies and their contractors to explore options and discuss the best path toward completing disconnects. GSA will issue the final NAUL on May 1, 2023,” the spokesperson said. “Contractors will then be required, in accordance with the contracts, to complete all disconnects within 30 days (no later than May 31, 2023). The final NAUL will be published on EIS website and will include a list of agencies that have been removed as authorized users.”

GSA says it has removed 68 agencies from the NAUL as of Aug. 31 because they have completed their transitions to EIS.

Source: GSA EIS transition report September 2022

The spokesperson added that GSA will continue to work with agencies and emphasize why transitioning to EIS is important to take advantage of modern technologies. GSA also will ensure agencies know that they would have to make alternate plans to prevent a gap in service if they can’t complete the transition by May 2023.

The latest data from GSA as of Aug. 31 shows out of 222 agencies and tribal governments 107 have fully completed their transition and another 23 are at least 90% complete.

Source: GSA EIS transition report September 2022

Additionally, agencies have released all but one of the 106 task orders to the EIS vendors with the Homeland Security Department having the one outlier.

GSA says agencies have disconnected 69.1% of services from Networx, up from 62.8% as of July 29.

Alliant 3, Ascend coming soon

While EIS may be the contract that GSA is focused on today, there are several others coming up this fall and early winter that will attract the attention of the agency and vendors alike.

Laura Stanton, the assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category (ITC) in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, said at the FCW IT modernization summit that Alliant 3 and the Ascend cloud blanket purchase agreement are among the draft solicitations on the short-term horizon.

“In the first quarter of fiscal 2023, we are looking forward to getting the Alliant 3 draft RFP out on the street,” Stanton said. “I will ask people to take a hard look at that and give us the feedback. We’re going to be keeping it open long enough so that people really have a chance to do that.”

In August, GSA raised the ceiling of the Alliant 2 contract by $25 billion after recognizing the popularity of the governmentwide IT services contract.

As for Ascend, for which GSA released a request for information in May, Stanton said she expects the draft RFP to come out in the second quarter of 2023.

Additionally, GSA is reviewing initial proposals for the Polaris small business contract for the first two pools, small business and women-owned small business, and proposals for the final two pools, HUBZone and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, are due by Nov. 4.

 

 

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