Agencies are accelerating toward developing their solicitations for the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract as the Sept. 30 deadline for agencies to award EIS task orders soon approaches, according to General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Telecommunication Services Director Allen Hill.

Hill spoke at an ACT-IAC community of interest meeting today, where he argued that agencies are making positive progress toward meeting the upcoming EIS deadline in roughly six weeks.

“It’s like a locomotive,” Hill said. “The steam is kicking in, we’re throwing some more coal on the fire, and it’s getting faster and faster. … Agencies have really buckled down in developing their solicitations.”

Despite Hill’s comments, GSA reported in a June 30 EIS Transition Progress Tracking Report that many agencies have yet to have GSA pass their EIS fair opportunity solicitations in an in-scope review or to issue fair opportunity solicitations to industry – steps that had a March 31 deadline.

The Justice Department, NASA, and Railroad Retirement Board are a few agencies that showed positive progress toward the Sept. 30 deadline, however, amid roughly 82 percent of fair opportunity solicitations yet to be released by agencies overall.

Still, Hill insisted that Sept. 30 isn’t a hard deadline, but is instead more of a milestone that agencies should aim for in progressing in their EIS transition.

“Even though September 30 may pass for some agencies, it’s more of a yellow light type of thing,” Hill said “Folks really need to turn it up a little bit more in these next few months and get things out there. And agencies are responding. They are. They are really bogged down.”

Hill added that 54 solicitations are having GSA in-scope review and that there are four public awards overall now. But he also signaled that not all agencies will meet the upcoming deadline in September.

“The September 30th thing would have been a great – it would’ve been great to see 100 percent [of agencies] achieve,” Hill said, but added that it’s most important that agencies have plans in place to make the EIS transition as smooth as possible earlier in the process and that GSA is, at this point, trying to help agencies “get across the finish line.”

There have been previous delays in agencies’ EIS contract progress, which have led GSA to extend current telecommunications contracts until May 2023 rather than May 2020. The GSA website still argues that “agencies should focus on making solicitation awards by September 30, 2019.”

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