Telecommunications: GSA Action Needs to Realize Benefits of Metropolitan Area Acquisition Program

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) program provides local telecommunications services to federal agencies in certain U.S. cities. The General Services Administration (GSA) began the program in 1997 to achieve immediate, substantial, and sustained price reductions for local telecommunications for agencies; to expand their choices of high-quality services; and to encourage cross-agency sharing of resources. Service providers that are awarded contracts under the program are allowed to compete for GSA's FTS2001 long distance service contracts, so that federal agencies may potentially acquire end-to-end local and long distance ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. April 4, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) program provides local telecommunications services to federal agencies in certain U.S. cities. The General Services Administration (GSA) began the program in 1997 to achieve immediate, substantial, and sustained price reductions for local telecommunications for agencies; to expand their choices of high-quality services; and to encourage cross-agency sharing of resources. Service providers that are awarded contracts under the program are allowed to compete for GSA's FTS2001 long distance service contracts, so that federal agencies may potentially acquire end-to-end local and long distance telecommunications services from one source. Only five of the 19 metropolitan areas that were scheduled to switch from existing services to MAA services by or before March 2002 have done so. Although the program was intended to take advantage of emerging competition in the local telecommunications market, it has been beset by implementation challenges, including access and use of building riser cabling, the transfer of local numbers between service providers, and a contractor's financial problems. On top of the cost of the contract services, GSA charges customer agencies fees that range from about nine to 97 percent or from $1.20 to $8.49 per line per month. Because GSA does not disclose its management fees unless asked, customer agencies do not necessarily have complete information to help them determine whether using GSA's full range of services is their most cost-effective approach. As of March 2002, GSA has allowed its MAA and FTS2001 contractors to offer services in both the local and long distance markets, a process termed "crossover.""

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 4, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Telecommunications: GSA Action Needs to Realize Benefits of Metropolitan Area Acquisition Program, report, April 4, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293897/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.