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Winning state and local video surveillance contracts - Part 3

Deltek has provided insight into the various procurement tactics vendors can utilize when tackling the proposal process for state and local video surveillance contracts. In addition to understanding the overall requirements and procurement timeline, vendors can also can benefit from understanding contracts as a whole.

 

A typical contract for video surveillance technology tends to be as follows:

 

·         Contract type: Firm-fixed price

·         Contract duration: 5-8 years

·         Contract value: up to $150 million

Prior to releasing a solicitation for surveillance technology, some localities establish a separate contract for a project manager or architectural/engineering firm to assist with the development of requirements. Departments look for expertise in infrastructure design and implementation, and support services. Sometimes a project manager becomes a member of the contract negotiation and implementation team. The manager can then assist with the request for proposals (RFP) process and utilize their expertise to ensure that both the long and short-term needs of departments are met, and that equipment is properly installed. Soliciting for a project manager or engineering firm is usually a two-month process. After a contract is signed, specifications for a subsequent RFP are developed within approximately 2-4 months.

 

It is also more common for a city or county interested in pursuing video surveillance to release an initial request for information (RFI) or request for qualifications (RFQ) to evaluate interest and technology suggestions before a formal solicitation is developed. The city of Philadelphia, Penn., the city of Gardena, Calif., and the Massachusetts Port Authority all began their video surveillance initiatives with an RFI process.

 

Analyst’s Take

 

Vendors should note that the value of contracts can vary depending on both the size and infrastructure of the state or locality. In addition, vendors should always take advantage of any RFI/RFQ process in order to get a preview of what the formal solicitation will contain. Sometimes departments will also use these pre-RFP methods to reduce the overall cost of the project by removing any unnecessary or non-targeted specifications.

The rising costs of health care – Round 3

As Deltek continues its in-depth FY 2013 budget analysis, one cannot help but notice the extensive portion devoted to entitlement programs such as Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid eligibility expansion to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) has left many states to worry about the increased funding they will need to accommodate the influx. Through a Deltek analysis of several state budgets, it is clear that a majority of states have seen increases in Medicaid spending from FY 2010. Of the states listed in Figure 1, below, there is an average 10 percent increase in Medicaid spending from FY 2010.

 

Of the 12 budgets featured, Medicaid spending increased for all but two states. Illinois saw an 18 percent decline in funding from FY 2010, partly to fill massive budget deficits. To view the full version of Deltek's in-depth analysis, go here.
Also, stay tuned to the Deltek blog for the final installment of our four-part series on state medical assistance funding, and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our blogs from January and February.

 

WIC EBT Update

Back in June 2010, Deltek released its first report on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Two of the major technologies highlighted in the report are WIC management information systems and WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems. Although EBT technology is a staple in the Supplementation Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), it was only recently mandated for the WIC program by the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2010, which requires the implementation of EBT by WIC programs by fiscal year 2020. The current state of WIC EBT across the nation (March 2012) is pictured below:

 

 

EBT is an electronic system that allows recipients to authorize transfer of their government benefits from a federal account to a retailer to pay for products. There are two types of systems that can be implemented: online and offline. Most states have utilized outside planning contractors during the WIC EBT planning phase for conducting feasibility studies and cost-benefit analyses to decide which system to go with. For more information on the WIC EBT update, please click here (link coming soon) to see an analyst perspective on the topic!

 

Pathway to Future Success in North Dakota

April brings the observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As such, Deltek’s Health Care and Social Services team saw this as the perfect opportunity to highlight child welfare reform initiatives occurring nationwide.

 

Deltek kicked off National Child Abuse Prevention month with a look at Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Oregon, which unfortunately highlighted problems in state child welfare programs. This blog shifts gears and highlights a strong initiative in state of North Dakota: comprehensive education. Although most programs naturally focus on the responsive treatment to child abuse, North Dakota is taking preventative measures to avoid abuse altogether. The state recently awarded coalitions 15 grants to help educate grandparents, parents, community members, teachers, and any others in the path of child development on creating a healthy environment to prevent child abuse and neglect. The state also launched an interactive Web-based training for mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect. The training details how to report abuse, how to identify abuse and neglect indicators, and how to file a report. The goal of embedding early protection habits into the community is to help prevent future child abuse and neglect.

 

Deltek subscribers can check out the Child Welfare Vertical Profile for a closer look at programs on a state-by-state basis. For the latest news and information, make sure to follow Deltek’s Health Care and Social Services team on Twitter @GovWin_HHS and LinkedIn.

Winning state and local video surveillance contracts – Part 2

When departments solicit for surveillance technology, they must take many considerations into account, including the cost of the overall system, the requirements and deliverables that must be met, whether the technology can integrate with existing infrastructure, and implementation strategy.

 
The procurement timeline for implementing video surveillance tools from solicitation to contract award is about six months on average. The request for proposals (RFP) submission period is typically open about one month, in which most localities usually require a pre-proposal conference/site visit for vendors to gain a better understanding of all existing conditions that may affect the overall cost.

    

 

The time from when a proposal closes until a final award is made can take on average about 4-5 months, and implementation is often expected to take place within six months of the award and notice to proceed. The procurement timeline for video surveillance is fairly fast and consistent compared to timelines for radio communications, which often have extended proposal opening periods. 

 

 

 

Analyst’s Take

 

Vendors should always take the opportunity to attend a pre-proposal conference/site visit if available. They provide an invaluable opportunity to ask questions and get a better feel for the type of system needed. Obtaining information on requirements and timelines ahead of time with the use of online tools such as GovWin can also be a valuable tactic in expanding lead time, and could boost your advantage in breaking into the market and winning contracts.
 
Lastly, vendors should note that solicitation documents for video surveillance may require the signing of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), as cities/counties prefer to make some information private, such as where cameras are located and how the current network operates.

WSCA continues to seek proposals for Electronic Monitoring RFP

The Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) released a request for proposals (RFP) in early April for electronic monitoring of offenders. The RFP was released by the state of Washington on behalf of WSCA, and covers 12 additional states that submitted notices of intent to participate in the contract. The solicitation is slated to close on May 17, 2012, six weeks after its initial release.
For vendors not familiar with WSCA, contracts awarded under it act like statewide term contracts and allow participating states to purchase from vendor(s) on the contract without having to release their own solicitation. Some states provide information on their anticipated annual spending for components of the project, which in turn offers vendors a clearer view of their potential winnings. States may also have a requirement to spend a certain amount on any contract they sign, which also provides vendors a bit more certainty than they might otherwise have. That said, these contracts are often awarded to multiple vendors, and WSCA acts somewhat like a clearing house by offering a list of acceptable vendors to participating states. The list does not guarantee that any of the vendors will be used by the individual states; it is possible to win a WSCA contract and still not make any money off of it.
The WSCA RFP covers three potential requirements covered by electronic monitoring: radio frequency monitoring, alcohol monitoring, and GPS monitoring, all of which parallel categories covered by the current contract, which was signed in January 2002. G4S Justice Services, Inc., won that contract’s categories I and II, which cover continuous signaling electronic monitoring, a random/scheduled tracking system, and alcohol monitoring. Category III was awarded to Pro Tech Monitoring. 
Analyst’s Take
Given the extensive variety of electronic monitoring equipment, purchasing departments often spend an exorbitant amount of time and money putting together different solicitations to meet varying needs, such as one RFP for equipment with GPS capabilities, another for alcohol capabilities, etc. While states should certainly consider releasing a single RFP like that in the WSCA contract, it can also be expensive as it requires a significant amount of time spent evaluating each proposal for each technology.  
Subscribers have access to the full analyst's perspective, here.

 

Winning state and local video surveillance contracts - Part 1

Surveillance systems’ key purpose is to aid law enforcement officials in combating crime within their communities. While most public safety departments are facing cutbacks, more reliance has been put on the use of surveillance technology to supplement the increasing demands of officers. The ultimate goal of many public safety departments is to improve the overall safety and security of its citizens and increase the information relayed to emergency responders.
 
In building out requirements for surveillance initiatives, localities should first take upfront costs into consideration. The initial infrastructure tends to be more expensive, but is necessary to create a solid foundation that can be built out over time. The types of infrastructure most commonly seen are fiber infrastructures with a wireless broadband backbone and a wireless mesh network. Once an infrastructure is built, localities tend to add more components when funding becomes available.
 
Functional requirements require various system abilities including analytics, live and recorded video, wide camera range, motion detection, time synchronization, playback, automated self-defense mechanisms, and integration with other technologies such as computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems. In addition, many software components can be incorporated into surveillance technology, including software analytics, license plate readers, and add-on capabilities such as a gunshot locator or facial recognition. Further, most systems have remote network accessibility, are able to feed into integration or real-time crime centers, and can be linked with surrounding jurisdictions.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
In crafting proposals, vendors need to ensure that all requirements and needs of the agency are met. Departments are mostly looking for long-term viability and prefer a system that can be integrated with a wide variety of existing and future hardware/software applications, as well as with other manufacturers. Vendors may want to develop their proposals to highlight solutions for integration and solutions that can be built out in the future given the scalability of video surveillance technology.
 
It is important for departments to research implementation tactics other localities have used in order to develop a successful solicitation that covers all requirements. For example, the city of Moreno Valley, Calif., took the opportunity to receive insight from its neighboring cities of Redlands and Santa Monica regarding how they went about building their infrastructure. Moreno Valley discovered that building out an infrastructure first was more cost effective in the long term than trying to expand upon infrastructure as surveillance systems continue to grow.

Victim notification: A state endeavor

Last Friday, the Texas Office of the Attorney General released a request for information (RFI) for Statewide Victim Notification System Services. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice already has an Automated Victim Notification System through a contract with Appriss, Inc., which is set to expire this year. Louisiana’s LAVNS (Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System) was also contracted to Appriss, Inc., in 2010, and is set to expire next year. Numerous other states also have victim notification systems, but only a few systems have been purchased on the city or county level. 

Victim notification systems proactively push information through phone calls and letters to registered users. The systems provide details on the status of any case the victim may be involved in as well as data pertaining to defendants in the case. Each victim is given a personalized victim identification number and a PIN to ensure that only relevant information is relayed. These systems usually allow victims to access updates online and via telephone. Typically, the systems detail future and past court events as well as developments on each defendant involved in a case, including where they are being held, their projected release date, and other release details.

Analyst’s Take:

While some vendors integrate victim notification services into larger corrections projects, such as those for offender or jail management systems, the majority of systems seem to be purchased exclusively for the purpose of keeping victims informed. Vendors who have not done so already should try to capitalize on this under-utilized trend. They should consider partnering with vendors offering more frequently-purchased systems (offender and records management systems). This would allow localities to save time and money because they would not have to utilize resources to release separate solicitations for two different projects, but rather combine both into a single solution. Vendors should also consider scaling down their solutions to decrease costs of purchasing the system. This would make it easier for smaller locations to afford their own system, and make them less reliant on state solutions.

Surveillance LEAPS across the U.S.

Last November, GovWin reported on an initiative in Lancaster, Calif., called the Law Enforcement Platform System, or LEAPS. The ambitious program plans to launch a plane dedicated to in-air video surveillance this May. In the midst of looking for more information on that one-of-a-kind program, we came across an article noting that there are actually more than 60 drone aircrafts in the United States alone. If you’ve driven on a major highway and noticed a sign that says something like “Speed Limit Enforced By Aircraft,” this is where these planes come in.
 
While these drone aircrafts can be used to curtail speeding motorists on the freeway, their primary role is surveillance, often along border states. For example, in Florida, the Miami-Dade County Police Department uses these planes to monitor the areas surrounding the city. Universities including Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi and the University of Connecticut also use these planes.
 
Analyst’s Take
 
Although these drone aircrafts may be a bit outside the norm of what many state and local vendors are typically selling to agencies, it is quite possible that they will include surveillance and video equipment that may require some type of connectivity to decipher them once on the ground. Video analytics is a technology that continues to spread as agencies increase their video footprint on cities and counties across the country, and being able to use the video in a constructive way is essential. A recent report by Analyst Joanna Salini, titled Predictive Policing: Improving Police Operations, goes more in depth on this technology.

 

New Hampshire poised to return HIX funding

A mandate of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is on a track to rejection by the New Hampshire legislature, a state famous for its political independence and personal liberty. This is the most recent development in what has become the saga of New Hampshire’s health insurance exchange (HIX) planning. At the heart of the state’s drama are the substantive philosophical and political differences that plague our national dialogue. With an overwhelmingly Republican General Court, and a Democratic governor limited in power by the unanimously Republican Executive Council, the state government has been engulfed in the debate over federal mandates and health care reform.
 
After receiving $1 million in federal funding for HIX planning in 2010, the Democratically-led Department of Insurance released a request for proposals for the HIX Planning Project, and recommended awarding a $610,675 contract to Wakely Consulting. Per state law, the contract went to the Executive Council (five Republicans and the Democratic governor) for approval. After vigorous debate, the council rejected the contract, and the legislature voted to return all but $333,000 in planning funds. Now, even that sum appears to be in jeopardy.
 
The New Hampshire Senate is currently considering passing a measure that would return the remaining planning funds, and all but ensure a federal exchange be established if the ACA remains enacted in its current form. Of course, the impending Supreme Court decision may make this discussion a moot point, and therefore vindicate the judgment of New Hampshire Republicans and their decision to refuse federal HIX funding. In the months ahead, it is likely that many states will examine the concept of a health insurance exchange, independent of the ACA, and determine how to proceed if federal mandates and funding are no longer available.
 

In the meantime, those interested in HIXs should examine Deltek’s recent expert analysis of state action.

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