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MCI INTERVENES IN GSA MODIFICATION OF AT&T FTS 2000 CONTRACT

 MCI INTERVENES IN GSA MODIFICATION OF AT&T FTS 2000 CONTRACT
 WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- MCI Communications Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MCIC) has joined WilTel, Inc., in seeking termination of a recent "modification" negotiated -- on a non-competitive basis -- between the General Services Administration (GSA) and AT&T to add high-capacity, point-to-point T3 services to the Dedicated Transmission Service category under AT&T's FTS 2000 contract.
 Contrary to the arguments of GSA and AT&T, the modification does not implement an "improvement" to an existing FTS 2000 service within the meaning of the "Service Improvements" clause of the FTS 2000 contract, according to MCI. Rather, the modification constitutes a de facto sole source procurement of a new service outside of the scope of the FTS 2000 contract as originally awarded, said MCI.
 GSA's issuance of the modification without competition violates applicable federal procurement laws and regulations, MCI said. "The contract modification is particularly pernicious in light of the controversial modification use policy applicable to FTS 2000 which already has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in excess federal expenditures," the company said.
 Commenting on MCI's intervention in the WilTel protest, Jerry Edgerton, MCI vice president of government systems, said: "With mandatory use in place, the addition of T3 services to FTS 2000 has improperly foreclosed MCI, WilTel and a host of other carriers from competing. To allow this modification to go forward without competition would be a disservice to the American taxpayer and the federal government. Addition of T3 service to FTS 2000 without competition provides no assurance that federal users will get the best service at the lowest overall cost. Based on the rate at which AT&T will provide T3 services and the estimated $100 million value of the modification over the remaining life of the FTS 2000 contract, the government would overpay at least $25 million more than the cost of the same services at rates publicly available today from competing providers. Once again, ignoring historic and positive forces, the GSA has failed to take advantage of the dynamic, vigorous competition in the telecommunications marketplace," he said.
 As completed and awarded in 1988, the FTS 2000 contract included the provision of only specific types of switched and dedicated services with defined performance parameters. "Expansion of the FTS 2000 beyond its original scope through the modifications process is another attempt to circumvent full and open competition," Edgerton said. "GSA's actions shield from competition the acquisition of this new service when securing meaningful price and service competition would yield results far more beneficial to the taxpayer and the government's own interests," he added.
 In its notice of intervention, MCI also requested the General Services Board of Contract Appeals (GSBCA) direct GSA to require the acquisition of T3 services under procurements conducted with full and open competition.
 -0- 7/8/92
 /CONTACT: David Thompson of MCI Government Systems, 703-902-6100/
 (MCIC) CO: MCI Communications Corporation; U.S. General Services
 Administration; WilTel, Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:


IH -- DC018 -- 7510 07/08/92 14:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 8, 1992
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