Although GSA officials say the agency’s Networx contracting vehicles have put significant dents in the federal government’s telecommunications bills, a GAO study says the road to those savings wasn’t nearly as smooth as it could have been.
The Government Accountability Office said complex acquisition processes and weaknesses in project planning contributed to delays transitioning to Networx from the GSA’s old FTS2001 contracts, resulting in cost increases and missed savings for federal users.
According to the GAO study, under Networx, federal agencies tended to transition easier items first to demonstrate progress, before they turned to work on items such as data networks and international services that needed longer lead times. As a result of the delays, it said, GSA’s estimated cost to complete the transition increased by $66.4 million, 44 percent over the baseline estimate.
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