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GSA Announces Changes in FTS

GSA # 9440

September 19, 1997
Contact: Hap Connors or
Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. General Services Administration today announced several major changes that will occur by year's end at the helm of the Federal Telecommunications Service, which manages the government's telecommunications program.

In making the announcement, GSA Administrator David J. Barram said he has appointed Dennis J. Fischer, the current GSA chief financial officer, as commissioner FTS, and Sandra N. Bates, the current FTS assistant commissioner for service delivery, as deputy commissioner. Appointments are effective December 2, 1997 and January 4, 1998, respectively.

Fischer will replace Bob Woods, who has signed up for GSA's buyout and will retire after 29 years of public service. Bates takes over for John Okay, who, after more than 30 years of government service, will retire at the end of the year. Woods and Okay plan to continue their professional affiliation in the private sector.

Fischer, who has 27 years of Federal government service and also extensive experience in the private sector, brings to FTS a strong background in financial and telecommunications management. As GSA's CFO since 1992, he has oversight of the development, administration, and coordination of all financial management systems for the agency. Fischer has received numerous awards for his successful management efforts. Under his leadership, GSA has received top marks from the Office of Management and Budget for the agency's financial accountability reports.

Bates has served in government for nearly 30 years, most of which were in positions that focused on telecommunications and information technology. Bates was the head of NASA communications systems responsible for all local and intercity and worldwide networks before joining FTS in 1996. In 1995, she was the chairperson of the Interagency Management Council, which was instrumental in developing the acquisition strategy for post FTS2000 merging local and long-distance service. The IMC serves essentially as a Board of Directors for the development, coordination and oversight of all Federal government telecommunications programs and policies.

Barram said, "The backgrounds and experiences of Dennis Fischer and Sandy Bates complement each other and will help continue the outstanding FTS programs and services."

Barram said that the changes will "in no way" impede the solicitation of the FTS2001 due at the end of October. He said that Bruce Brignull, assistant commissioner for service development, and the long-time manager of that solicitation, will continue to move the solicitation forward.

Barram said, "Bob Woods and John Okay have done a wonderful job of shepherding the Federal government's telecommunications program in these extraordinary times. FTS2000 has been a great success and they have led the building of a solid foundation for the next generation. Because of their persistent efforts, today the Federal government has the lowest long-distance rates in the market."

Bill Early, GSA's budget director, will be acting chief financial officer. No replacement has been named for the assistant commissioner for FTS service delivery.

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