While the General Services Administration (GSA) set a deadline of March 31 for all of the larger Federal agencies to release solicitations on the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract, only 13 agencies met that deadline, releasing 18 solicitations, a GSA spokesperson told MeriTalk.

While GSA did not name the agencies that released solicitations, that count leaves ten CFO Act agencies as missing the deadline, which the spokesperson phrased as an “interim milestone.”

However, GSA has received 39 solicitations for scope review, the spokesperson noted, and expects 30 more for scope review in the next month.

“It is highly recommended that agencies release their solicitation packages as soon as possible so that upon completion of the source selection process, they will have enough time left on their existing contract to implement their awarded solutions,” the spokesperson noted.

The EIS contract has faced some challenges in getting off the ground. GSA opted to extend the lifespan of the existing Networx and WITS contracts for up to three years, but Bill Zielinski, acting assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category, made it clear that GSA’s intent is not to delay agency usage of EIS.

“That extension window, to May of 2023, isn’t to allow for the front end of this to slide out, but to allow for the time that’s really necessary to modernize and incorporate the new elements of the contract, and do so in a mindful way,” Zielinski said during Forcepoint’s Cybersecurity Leadership Forum on April 4.

Comments from GSA echo a similar sentiment.

“GSA is stressing the importance of the ultimate deadline for transition in May 2023, which is tied to the expiration of the Networx, WITS, and Regional local contracts. GSA is asking agencies to commit to having 100% of their services disconnected from the expiring contracts by September 2022,” the spokesperson said.

Zielinski also shared some of the positives on the EIS front, including the inclusion of new technologies.

“We have agencies who are close to releasing their solicitations and close to moving to award, so we’re starting to see that momentum pick up and build,” said Zielinski.

Zielinski also acknowledged that some agencies had indicated that they are not moving on EIS due to the uncertainty around the Trusted Internet Connections policy, and potential use cases that could emerge.

“The big message for agencies is work with us. If you have questions where you want to figure out how you can really get moving on your solicitations, contact the team.”

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MeriTalk Staff