USA Services Speeds Procurement With FirstContact
New Contract Vehicle Emerges as an Innovative Answer to Improve Customer Service
November 9, 2004
Contact: Deborah K. Ruiz (202) 501-1231
WASHINGTON – After four hurricanes ravaged the Southeast last summer, causing billions of dollars in damage to homeowners and businesses, the U.S. General Services Administration came to the rescue with a unique contract that helped expedite assistance to thousands of Americans.
"In keeping with President Bush's direction to make the federal government more citizen-centric, we have enhanced access to the government via the internet so citizens can use this channel to obtain information they need when they need it, said GSA Administrator Stephen A. Perry. "Now, the FirstContact call center initiative will enhance access via e-mail and telephone in a manner that will enable inquiries to be handled faster and more effectively for citizens while saving time and money for federal agencies.”
FirstContact, a contract vehicle that focuses solely on contact center management services and which makes it possible for agencies caught in a time crunch to find help quickly, garnered wide attention during today’s FirstContact Expo, held in the GSA Auditorium.
The new contract, developed by USA Services, is a multi-channel contact center services contract vehicle that offers a full range of services, including telephone and e-mail inquiry services, automated and interactive voice response services and E-Government solutions as well as customer relationship management strategies to federal agencies. The FirstContact contract now allows federal agencies to get contractors on board quickly.
Following the hurricane devastation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) used the FirstContact contract to set up a call center to respond to victims of the recent hurricanes in Florida. Within days of contacting USA Services, a task order was awarded to FEMA and call center services were up and running.
FirstContact is the first contract of its kind and focuses solely on contact center management services. The FirstContact contract is for one year with four one-year options. The estimated value of the program is $150 million over the next five years. Initially awarded in July 2004, FirstContact supports USA Services’ goals of improving customer service to citizens across the federal government and reducing costs for the agency relative to citizen inquiry services.
Managed by GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications, USA Services is one of President Bush’s E-Gov initiatives, helping citizens to access government information and services on their terms. With USA Services, citizens can get information from federal agencies in English and Spanish via: FirstGov.gov, the U.S. government’s official Web portal; by e-mail, by calling 1-800-FED-INFO to reach the National Contact Center; or by writing to the distribution center in Pueblo, Colorado, which provides a wide variety of helpful federal publications in print.
Additional information about FirstContact can be found at www.usaservices.gov.