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Federal Acquisition Service Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder with Agencies to Meet Telecom and IT Requirements, Williams Says

As prepared for delivery.

Remarks By
Jim Williams
Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service
U.S. General Services Administration
GSA Network Services Conference
Chicago, Illinois
August 11, 2009

Thank you Ed O’Hare, it’s a pleasure for me to be a part of your 17th annual Network Services Conference and to be back in Chicago for the second time in two weeks!  It’s a great town isn’t it? 

I am more convinced than ever of the importance of network services and information technology to the business of government.  From my experience as Acting Administrator I know first hand that GSA can deliver the most beautiful and progressive building imaginable, but if the customer doesn’t have the network services available to them at move-in, the business of government cannot go on. Information technology does more than just provide communications capability, it enables Agency missions. 

Information technology is at the forefront of our war against cyber security and cyber terrorism.  FAS is in the “digital trenches”, shoulder-to-shoulder with the agencies, providing them with a means to secure physical and logical access to both buildings and networks through the HSPD-12 USAccess Program, and to keep their network infrastructure secure through solutions that Ed just mentioned: the Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Service available off of Networx: the recently awarded situational awareness incident response (SAIR) SmartBUY BPAs  that came about due to our collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security; and Data at Rest (DAR) encryption software, also from SmartBUY.  All of these capabilities enable the US Government to protect our assets and our IT infrastructure from cyber security threats, and are available, through GSA, at the lowest possible cost.

We are also enabling agencies to meet their energy reduction goals as outlined in Executive Order 13423 by offering Energy Star qualified products in GSA Advantage and by providing data center optimization services – including virtualization technologies - to address the fact that government data centers still account for approximately 2 percent of all electricity consumed in the US.  

FAS is also supporting the administration’s Recovery Act.  In March, ITS announced the selection of 59 firms for award under the $50 billion Alliant government-wide information technology contract providing federal agencies easy access to innovative IT solutions from a broad spectrum of highly qualified industry partners.  Alliant, coupled with Alliant Small Business - a small business set-aside contract, will enable agencies to rapidly deploy funds they receive through the Recovery Act for information technology.   And finally, talk about enabling agency missions – the recent COMSATCOM initiative with DoD that Ed described is a ground-breaking partnership that has the potential to change the way we offer services to the government well into the future.  It symbolizes our opportunity to products and services through a complement of vehicles, IDIQ and Schedule 70.

FAS is working hard to enable our government agency missions by offering the newest network services and information technology capabilities.  Contracts like Networx continue to expand through the addition of leading edge cyber security capabilities like MTIPS.  But it is essential to remember that we must complete the transition to Networx in order to reap the rewards offered by not only the added security features, but other enhanced capabilities and increased cost savings as well.  I want to assure you that we are looking at every aspect of transition to find ways to assist agencies in meeting the transition challenge.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud of the role that FAS continues to play in supporting the goals of the administration and more importantly, all of you, as you help your agencies conduct the business of government  more securely, more sustainably, and more efficiently, and looking for new ways of delivering the capabilities that you want and need.  Whether it is getting the newest technologies on contract (at the lowest possible prices), managing the transition from one contract to another, or finding new ways to partner with our customers to provide the services needed when and how the customer requires them, ITS Network Services Programs is fully dedicated to the job.   The focus of this conference, "A Stronger America Through Technology” is further evidence of our commitment to helping you in meeting the challenges we all face. 

And now it is my pleasure and honor to introduce to you, my former FAS deputy and friend, GSA’s Deputy Administrator, Mr. Barney Brasseux. Barney ….