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FAS Commissioner Williams Speaks on Networx Transition

As Prepared for delivery

Remarks by
Jim Williams
Commissioner
Federal Acquisition Service
GSA Networx Transition Summit
Reston, VA
9/6/06

 

Good morning, everyone. Thank you very much for attending the GSA FAS Networx Transition Summit.  Administrator Doan sends her regards and regrets that she could not be here.

These two days are very important – we’ve set the bar fairly high for this event and will not consider it a success unless:

- We deliver a comprehensive update on our planning for the transition to Networx;

- Answer your transition planning questions in workshops and panels that will be led by government and private sector experts;

- And send you home feeling confident that GSA -- under the leadership of Administrator Doan - is unequivocally committed to:

  • A successful transition to Networx Universal and Networx enterprise that will be notable for the expert support we provide our client agencies;
  • Close coordination with our public and private sector partners;
  • And earning the right to be called the federal government’s premier acquisition agency.

Getting to this day has not been easy. Work was underway long before Administrator Doan asked me to serve as Commissioner of the new Federal Acquisition Service. So let me take a minute to me quickly acknowledge those in the audience:

- CIOs and CIO representatives;
- Telecommunications managers;
- Agency and sub agency or bureau transition managers;
- Networx offerors;
- Offerors of services to support GSA and agency transitions;
- Members of the GSA transition team

And …the many important contributions of:

- The Interagency Management Council and Chairman Tony Cira;

- The American Council of Technology and President Barry West;

- The Industry Advisory Council and Chairman Bill Piatt (we miss Bill at GSA);

- GSA’s John Johnson and the entire Networx team;

- And the media for it’s continuing coverage of a complex but very important subject.

The transition to Networx is a momentous and transformational event for our government. Based on the inventory of services currently provided to customers via the FTS2001 contracts, this will be the largest transition in telecommunications history.

The program will provide comprehensive, best-value telecommunications and networking services and technical solutions to all federal agencies.  More than that, Networx is about cross-agency collaboration … about government -wide improvement … about talking and working together.

When you think of it in those terms, Networx is emblematic of where we’re headed on any number of fronts – having come to GSA from DHS, securing our homeland is one example that comes to mind – and where we must go to achieve the citizen-centered, results-oriented government envisioned by president bush and detailed in the president’s management agenda.

That agenda was built from one fundamental idea: to reform government, we must re-think government.

That’s what we’ve done with Networx, and that’s what we’re doing at GSA under the leadership of Lurita Doan.

As an agency, GSA has taken the President’s challenge very seriously. We’ve re-thought the functions of the Federal Supply Service and Federal Technology Service. Both have a splendid history of service to our nation, by the way. And we will preserve the best of both in the new FAS organization, which is being designed to significantly improve, simplify, and facilitate the way agencies buy products and services from GSA.

FAS, then, has evolved from the best of FSS and FTS. I’m extremely excited to lead this new organization, and of course anxious to assure you that FAS will continue to provide a robust selection of services through the Networx procurements.

Networx, as we know, replaces the expiring FTS2001 and FTS2001 crossover contracts and federal wireless contracts. The program moves GSA further into the area of advanced technologies and solutions to meet our emerging customer needs while providing them with very attractive pricing for service. Our goal is nothing less than to provide comprehensive, seamless, secure and interoperable infrastructures at best value.

Again, my thanks to the Interagency Management Council, the Four IMC working groups, and the Networx program team for determining our eight main goals:

  • Service continuity. All services to all locations that are currently provided on the FTS2001 and crossover contracts must be included in the Networx program.
  • Highly competitive prices. Prices on the Networx program must continue to be better than prices available elsewhere in the telecommunications marketplace.
  • High quality service. Service on the Networx contracts must be provided by high quality telecommunications providers. The contracts must include enforceable agreements that will ensure high quality service is delivered throughout the term of the contracts.
  • Full service providers. Service providers who are awarded contracts on Networx be capable of providing a broad array of services. 
  • Alternative sources. Networx must provide access to a broad spectrum of industry service providers.
  • Operations support. Improved ordering, billing, and inventory management.
  • Transition assistance and support. The contracts must include provisions that facilitate transition coordination and support.
  • And finally, performance based contracts. The contracts must be performance based with service level agreements to the extent possible

I’d like to add that small businesses – very important to our Administrator, who comes from the small business world - will have opportunities to participate in the Networx program. All prime contractors on Networx will be required to meet tough small business goals that will ensure significant subcontracting opportunities. GSA will monitor small business content and ensure that small business goals are met.
In closing, let me again say how pleased I am that you’ve chosen to attend our transition summit.
There’s a lot on the table today and tomorrow.  We’ll be discussing:

- The importance of knowing what services you have today, so that you can be assured that all the services you want to be moved to Networx are identified and moved expeditiously. 

- We’ll hear from industry regarding how we can use this opportunity to upgrade our mission capabilities through enhanced network services technology. And we’ll hear industry perspectives on how to make the transition move as efficiently as possible.

- We’ll discuss fair opportunity: the process associated with how each agency selects its industry providers.

- We’ll discuss agency and GSA decisions on responsibilities for performing various transition functions and resources identified for these activities.

And in the back of your minds, I hope you’ll also be thinking about the big picture – how GSA will be leveraging the government’s awesome buying power to help produce a more efficient, interoperable government for the 21st century, one that’s focused on service, savings and citizens.

Thank you very much.


 


Networx Transition