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Deltek pulse: Justice/public safety and homeland security October review

The most common terms appearing in justice/public safety and homeland security solicitations during October were fire alarm, camera/surveillance and radio. The below word cloud provides a visual interpretation of key-term frequency.

  • Number of public safety bids: 1,077
  • Top three states (by number of solicitations released): California (118), Virginia (79) and Texas (63)
  • Keywords: fire alarm, camera/surveillance and radio

Frequency of terms:

  • Surveillance: 31 (five state; 26 local)
  • Radio: 12 (three state; nine local)
  • 911 : 4 (one state; three local) 

The below graph provides information on the break-down of the entities purchasing justice and public safety technologies.

Trends

  • October was a slow month compared to the fervor of September, with far fewer projects released for state and local entities across all regions of the country, and the majority of RFPs released came out toward the end of the month
  • Numerous projects released in September closed throughout October and are now under review to determine the most suitable vendor(s)
  • Several local governments confirmed large radio and 911 projects are moving forward with solicitations planned in the near future

Notable projects

  • Los Angeles, Calif., released a request for proposals (RFP) for a CAD-to-CAD consultant to draft an RFP for vendors to construct and implement a system for connecting four separate fire departments’ CAD systems
  • Massachusetts released an RFP for next generation 911 products and services to hire a contractor to design, install, operate, monitor and maintain a turnkey NG911 system throughout the commonwealth
  • Travis County, Texas, released a solicitation for an electronic monitoring system with the ability to determine a person’s specific location as well as verify their compliance with any curfew restrictions
  • Maine is currently working on its court case management system project and intends to spend the next year securing funding and developing project specifications

Analyst’s Take

The number of canceled opportunities sharply increased in October, though the reasons and ways in which the projects were canceled varied significantly. Numerous entities simply chose to cancel projects due to budgetary constraints or priority shifts. Lafayette, La., canceled its next generation 911 system for these reasons; while South Carolina canceled its long-planned incident-based reporting system (SCIBRS) website project, as it no longer requires these services. Further entities chose to sole source projects, such as Effingham County, Ill., which determined that only its existing vendor, Motorola, could provide a suitable replacement for its aging radio system. 

 The cancelation of so many projects, particularly ones that had been in the planning stages for several years, indicates that many purchasing offices are working to clean up their files and prioritize for the rest of the year. Given the large number of projects that have begun moving forward in recent months, it is not surprising that many entities found projects they are no longer interested in pursuing during this review. 

 

 

Deltek Pulse: justice/public safety and homeland security October review

The most common technologies and services procured across states and localities in October were inmate phone systems, radio systems and fire alarm and suppression systems. The word cloud below provides a visual interpretation of key-term frequency.

Inmate Phone Systems: 4 solicitations

Radio System: 7 solicitations

Fire Alarm or Suppression Systems: 23 solicitations

States and counties across the country were busy making key decisions about future projects in October. Many long-awaited projects previously on hold for months or even years had their fates determined, whether it be to move forward or finally cancel them. Nevada, on behalf of the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA), made the decision to release a request for proposals (RFP) for security and life safety systems, which covers burglar alarms, fire suppression, CCTV and access control systems. Fourteen states are currently slated to participate in the procurement. 

The Nevada Department of Administration moved forward with another large project as well, deciding to release a solicitation for its statewide long-term evolution (LTE) broadband plan after the original solicitation was canceled earlier this year. Florida also decided to proceed with a large communications project, determining that it would release a solicitation based off of a previous request for information (RFI) for its statewide NG911 routing services project.

On the local level, the city of Fort Wayne, Ind., along with Allen County’s Consolidated Communications Partnership released an RFP for a VoIP next generation 911 system, which will be installed in PSAPs in Adams, Wells, Steuben and Whitley counties. Several localities also made the final leap in the procurement process by awarding projects. Alameda County, Calif., awarded a contract for its public safety radio system coverage to TriPower Group for $500,000, and Mercer County, N.J., awarded its radio system project to Cassidian Communications for a total of $7.2 million. Yadkin County, N.C., a step behind Mercer County, awarded a contract for its radio system consultant to 4G Communications for a total of $30,500, and hopes to release a solicitation for the system itself once the consultant has completed their report.

Orange County, Calif., decided to recommend awarding a contract for its automated biometric identification system to MorphoTrak, and Rhode Island awarded a project to provide wire transfers to inmate trust fund accounts to JPAY. Maine, on the other hand, put two corrections projects on hold to develop plans for the state’s control room consolidation effort.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections still hopes to move forward with the purchase of offender case management software; however, without funding, the department is unable to develop a timeframe for when the project might progress. Other localities made the decision to give up on projects they had been trying to capitalize for some time. Pittsburg, for example, canceled its security camera system that was due to be installed at schools across the city due to lack of funding.

Analyst’s Take 

Communications systems of all stripes seemed to be the primary focus at all levels of government this October. Coincidentally, this was also the case in October 2011 as states and localities spent the majority of their funding on similar projects. This year, many localities that met the narrowbanding deadline well in advance have begun looking at updating their aging radio systems, while others are still struggling to come up with funding and a plan to meet the FCC deadline.

On the other side of the communications spectrum, next generation 911 systems continue to move forward. It is likely that many smaller or cash-strapped communities that never managed to implement an enhanced 911 system will make the decision to skip that step and move directly into an NG system. This is likely to be particularly true for localities where a statewide system is already being implemented. Vendors should keep an eye out for cities and counties with older systems that may be looking to upgrade.

Overall, October seemed to be more settled than recent months. Counties and cities seemed to have a better understanding of not only what projects will be moving forward, but also when it will happen. Several counties, and even states, announced that solicitations would be released for large projects in the next few months, and vendors should begin keeping an eye out for them. The next few weeks before the holiday season would be a good time for vendors to reach out to contacts they may have been out of touch with for a while, as decisions may have been made on the status of a project. In several instances, decision were made to cancel projects in October, which, while not ideal, at least allows vendors to cross that project off of their list and focus priorities elsewhere.