The US General Services Administration has now put back the award of the estimated $25,000m 10-year FTS- 2000 contract to upgrade the US government’s internal telecommunications facilities until the end of this year. It says that it needs extra time to evaluate the large amount of technical and financial bid data submitted by the three contending consortia, which are led by AT&T Co, the resident supplier; Martin-Marietta Corp; and US Sprint Communications. The contract had most recently been due to be awarded in September, but is now well over a year behind its original schedule. AT&T says it is particularly concerned at any further delay because of the resources it committed to meeting the September 30 deadline. At the same time, the longer the delay, the more AT&T garners from its existing contract.