The General Services Administration (GSA) is granting a two-year deadline extension to eight agencies to transition to Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) communications services contracts.

GSA said the eight agencies now have until May 31, 2026 to complete their EIS transition. The agency granted the same deadline extension to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in December 2022.

The eight agencies that got EIS transition extensions were not identified by GSA.

This is two more years than the other agencies who signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in September 2022 to extend their expiring network and telecommunications contracts, while they transition to the EIS program.

In a blog post, GSA said that as of April 2023, 123 of 222 agencies had successfully transitioned off of the legacy telecommunications contracts.

“Agencies that require an extension beyond May 31, 2024 must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GSA, provide GSA with details supporting further contract extensions, and start comprehensive quarterly executive transition updates with GSA,” wrote Laura Stanton, GSA’s assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category (ITC).

“As of June 26, 2023, eight agencies have requested extensions to May 31, 2026. Some need additional weeks and some need additional months to complete their transition,” she added.

For those agencies that have already completed their transition to EIS, Stanton said they have reaped benefits such as divesting from legacy services no longer supported by contractors, adopting Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) 3.0 architectures, achieving a lower overall cost, and bolstering their cyber resilience.

The transition to EIS is something that is typically measured on the FITARA Scorecard. In the most recent scorecard, most agencies received a failing grade in that category, which pegged pass/fail at a 90 percent completion rate.

During the House Government Operations Subcommittee hearing on the latest FITARA scorecard in December 2022, cybersecurity experts at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) urged agencies to speed their transition to EIS.

Carol Harris, director of information technology and cybersecurity at GAO, expressed concern about most agencies receiving a failing grade for their lack of progress in the transition to EIS.

“Agencies need to act with tremendous urgency to move the bar here and get off those legacy contracts as soon as possible,” Harris said. “We just don’t want to have further delay because that’s going to cause cost overruns.”

Read More About
More Topics
Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.