The General Services Administration (GSA) is granting a two-year deadline extension to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to transition to Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) communications services contracts.

GSA is giving the two agencies until May 31, 2026, to complete their transitions to EIS. This is two more years than the other agencies who signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in September to extend their expiring network and telecommunications contracts, while they transition to the EIS program.

DoJ and DHS asked GSA for more time to complete their transition, citing factors such as global supply chain disruptions and COVID-19 pandemic challenges. In a Dec. 16 blog post, GSA said it granted the extension to ensure agencies “can carry out their transition plans without the risk of serious disruptions to critical services.”

“Executing these extensions will be a major undertaking for GSA and the contract holders,”  wrote Laura Stanton, GSA’s assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category (ITC).

“GSA anticipates there are more than sixty contracts that will need extensions after May 31, 2024,” she added. “GSA will execute modifications to extend each contract. The justification for these modifications will detail the current status, the delays and obstacles agencies have faced in their transitions, and the timeline in which they expect to have their transitions completed.”

Stanton added that this decision comes with risks, as contractors may not agree to an extension. Additionally, she said prolonging the transition presents risks to agencies, as EIS offers cost savings opportunities and access to modern cybersecurity capabilities.

During last week’s House Government Operations Subcommittee hearing on the latest FITARA scorecard, cybersecurity experts at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) urged agencies to speed their transition to EIS.

Carol Harris, director of information technology and cybersecurity at GAO, expressed concern about most agencies receiving a failing grade for their lack of progress in the transition to EIS.

“Agencies need to act with tremendous urgency to move the bar here and get off those legacy contracts as soon as possible,” Harris said. “We just don’t want to have further delay because that’s going to cause cost overruns.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.