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Region 2 Newsroom

Welcome to the Northeast and Caribbean Region’s newsroom. Here you will find news briefs, media releases, advisories, and more providing information on regional projects, accomplishments, and activities within New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Northeast and Caribbean Region’s Public Affairs Office is located at the regional headquarters in New York City. This office issues regional media releases and advisories, manages the region’s social media and public web sites, as well as serves as a local contact for regional press.

GSA National Newsroom provides up-to-date information on programs, initiatives, and news of importance to GSA Clients. GSA's Reference Library includes the latest bulletins, extracts of executive orders, speeches, regulations and other documents about GSA.

 

News Around the Northeast and Caribbean Region

New HR Award Supports Veterans

Region 2’s Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS) awarded on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) a 10 year task order  to IBM this past December. The award, valued at $123 million, utilizes the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) 738X for Human Resources & Equal Employment Opportunity Services. It will transition the VA’s Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to a cloud-based platform, making all HR functions including Personnel Action Processing, Benefits Management and Compensation Management available on one centralized platform.

Region 2 employees worked with VA officials over the last two years to identify opportunities in leveraging technological advancements that  maximized productivity and achieved cost savings and efficiencies. With this new system, the VA will be able to reduce costs by integrating all HR functions into one platform. It is a scalable, people-centric tool that supports Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data rules.

Servicing approximately 447,000 VA personnel on a yearly basis, the system allows VA personnel to meet their mission of supporting the  Veterans and returning Warfighters. Contact Jo Ann Lee, Region 2’s Acting Director of AAS Division, for more information.

 

Efficiency...Flexibility...Savings...

Network Wires

GSA's Regional Local Telecommunications Contract (RLTC) provides Voice Services, Central Exchange, Analog Business Service, Digital Services, and Internet Access in one convenient package that is compatible with existing Government Equipment, eliminating the need to purchase or lease new station or end user equipment (Analog or Digital).  Also eliminated is the need for tedious account management, as GSA offers Telecommunications Order and Pricing Systems (TOPS) Billing for all RLTC services and one point of contact to handle all telecom requests.  Reliability of RLTC services is further enhanced by the use of self-healing telecommunications networks during emergencies.  Additionally, the RLTC allows for upgrades to new technologies as they become commercially available, while locking in firm, fixed prices for five (5) year contract periods.  So, technologies can keep moving forward, but prices remain the same—and those prices are generally 30 to 40% lower than existing tariff prices for telecommunications voice and data services.

Existing customers like the FAA and new ones like the NJ National Guard already have the power of the RLTC working for them, and it can be working for you, too.  Contact your RLTC Customer Service Director, Jill Badami, at jill.badami@gsa.gov or 212-264-4793, today.

 

Network Services Contract Offers Significant Savings to Government Customers

The Northeast and Caribbean Region's Network Services Division is saving government agencies money.

Graphic illustrating Networked Computers

Recently, through a strong collaborative effort, Network Services awarded a multi-award, five year, fixed price, Indefinite Date Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to five telecommunication providers for $43 million. This deal replaces an expiring contract and is expected to save government agencies over $17 million when compared to existing tariff rates. In fact, the immense savings translates to 40 percent, and subsequently, $2.5 million lower than initial government estimates.

Awards were made to Verizon Business, TCS of America LLC, Cavalier Telephone LLC, Puerto Rico Telephone and WorldNet Telecommunications and cover additional geographic areas in New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. This new contract offer Government agencies continuity of existing services for local telecommunications. GSA proves once again its power to save the federal government money.

 

GSA Northeast and Caribbean Region Steps Up for Veterans

Soldier Saluting American Flag

At a critical time when our nation’s troops are returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, GSA's Northeast and Caribbean Region recently revised its Veterans’ Readjustment Special Item Number (SIN) with an eye towards helping our war veterans.

The Federal Acquisition Service's Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) 738x SIN 595.28 for Social Services, Professional Counseling and Veterans’ Readjustment and Behavioral Health Services is newly reformed to better meet the needs of our customer agencies, especially VA and HHS. The revamped SIN is designed to enhance current services in traditional employee assistance, while focusing on specific support options such as mental health services and comprehensive wellness coaching for the warfighter and veterans and their families.

The expanded offerings are detailed within SIN 595-28 and can be located in the Schedule 738X HR/EEO Solicitation posted in FedBizOpps.gov and GSA.gov e-Library. The Solicitation is open and continuous. For more information contact James Nicols.

 

PBS/FAS Team Works Together to Save Region 2 Phone Costs

With employee mobility, office structure reconfiguring, and advancing technology, the Northeast and Caribbean Region found it had more than a few unclaimed analog phone lines that were no longer being used by GSA.  A team of folks from FAS and PBS joined forces to initiate a cost saving tracing and tonal project to identify 373 analog lines for possible elimination at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City.

The identification process took two months. The team worked to identify 185 numbers of the 373 lines, of which an initial 106 lines were identified for elimination. For this part of the process they cross referenced their records, went to each division and also called the numbers. Finally the team arranged for the procurement and oversight of a vendor to trace and tone the lines in every telephone closet. The tracing and toning of the remaining 188 unclaimed analog lines was vital as all building emergency phone lines had to be identified and kept active.

In the end, the project proved to be successful: a total of 281 analog lines were identified for elimination and 92 were transferred to Voice Over Internet Protocol.  Since the analog service lines cost GSA about $30 a month and VOIP service is only $1, eliminating the analog lines by either complete elimination or conversion resulted in a cost savings of $133,176, offset by the contractor's fee of $23,500.  This provides GSA with a savings of $109,676 in FY12 and an anticipated savings of $133,176 for each year thereafter. 

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