1. #1
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    Default Spec and bidding

    I think I know the answer but.....

    FD receives 1099/questions. A few days after announcement of round 1 grant place order SCBA and TO gear. Know that we like brand X TO gear because several FF use it down the road at another FD where they are also members. These FF like brand Y SCBA, same reason. At present FD is using brand Z SCBA with no problems/issues, good dealer service etc.

    Don't need to look or evaluate at any alternative brands of TO or SCBA. Or bid/quote anything. Brand X SCBA are protected territory so only one potential bidder. We buy 99% of new equipment from the dealer of brand X TO gear and brand Y SCBA anyhow. Git er done.

    Issues?

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    i was told by regional rep on a field audit to bid different brands regardless of what you want or know you are going to buy. He said just have a reason why you bought the brand you did. My reason was thats what we liked and all depts aroud us used the same so we liked interoperability. He said good enough. I would bid many brands and buy what you want.

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    You probably already do know the answer to the magic question.


    In accordance with the AFG program guidelines you must not write a brand specific request for bids. You must make your specifications open to any and all potential bidders.
    the only way around this bidding procedure is if your state or local government has already gone to a fixed price bid for these items.
    To subjugate these procedures when purchasing with federal dollars will bring the wrath of the government auditors down around you. You could stand to have funding removed , or if equipment has already been purchased, they could and have removed it from the dept that failed to follow the rules. Remember it's a federal crime to commit fraud on federal grant programs.

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    So another question... getting 30 sets of PPE and 3 TICs can we bid TICs and the PPE separately or do they both have to be together?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidizzle1129 View Post
    So another question... getting 30 sets of PPE and 3 TICs can we bid TICs and the PPE separately or do they both have to be together?
    You can bid seperatley.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    In the case of SCBA, if you are one company within the three companies that make up the district's FD, and all three use the same brand SCBA, and in order to keep everything uniform, you would like to purchase said brand do you still need to go out on bid? If so, how many price qoutes is enough?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DepChief03 View Post
    In the case of SCBA, if you are one company within the three companies that make up the district's FD, and all three use the same brand SCBA, and in order to keep everything uniform, you would like to purchase said brand do you still need to go out on bid? If so, how many price qoutes is enough?
    Compatibility can be a factor in final acceptance of bid but, I would advise you to use a competitive bid process strictly, or risk lsing your award. Fire Act Grants are tightening drastically on Procurment Integrity.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidizzle1129 View Post
    So another question... getting 30 sets of PPE and 3 TICs can we bid TICs and the PPE separately or do they both have to be together?
    You can bid them separately and you can get the PPE from different vendors,ie. pants & coat from vendor "A ". boots, helmet, gloves ,hoods gear bag from Vendor "B" You can find better deals that way sometimes.

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    Also check into "End of the Year" or "Inventory Reduction" sales. Can save a good chunk of change this way for equipment that meets your needs.

    Doing this with our HRT order. The company is giving us a reduced price on in-stock items; especially on the items that we recieved a reduction on. Now the department only has to meet the required share match & not have to make up the cost overruns which was 140% above the match requirement.

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    You got be careful on the bidding process. Had a dept whom was leaning toward an x brand and y brand saleman contacted AFG and complained. They almost lost it all, but was able to justify the x brand. Saleman added some untrue things to his story also. Noone in the area will purchase anything from them now either. Use CYA factor and good luck

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    Bidding question, sort of

    If what we want is available through GSA at the right price, do we need to bid?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kd7fds View Post
    Bidding question, sort of

    If what we want is available through GSA at the right price, do we need to bid?
    No

    A posting from BC79er:

    Correct, GSA, State Contract, or HGAC (mentioned in other thread) then there is no bid process required because those systems are already bid to be on the list.

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    Couple of points--
    1. If more restrictive than AFG, local bidding rules must apply. For some depts, that means any purchase in excess of $xx,xxx must be advertised even though the Federal share is a high percentage. Make sure to check local bidding requirements. Good idea to check this in advance of application too--advertising costs, legal fees, etc, are eligible to apply for and could save a few thousand in local money (especially on a truck--not that i've been there)
    2. "we like it best" is probably not a valid reason.
    3. SCBA may be a true interoperable issue, but bidding multiple products can help you to document that as a possible reason for choice.
    4. GSA or other pre-bid pricing may be eligible to purchase without bidding, but you may save some money going through the effort--funds that can be used for furthering the project or for an FPS project.
    5. "Protected sales territories" may not always be as protected as we think. Our local quote for air packs for Mfr X was above the award amount with "no room move on price". We found a regional rep who was able to get permission to deliver at $600 less per pack for the identical configuration. Savings on individual masks also. Gave us the $5,000 to extend the program and $1,000 left for FPS.

    It may be "free money" but if we are better stewards we can get more miles for it. We've worked hard on our 4 prior AFG's and the result has been a total of over $13,000 in excess funds (3 grants) that we were able spend on other eligible items plus more funding on FPS items. If we had just coasted--i can say for sure that we'd have spent the $13,000 on the original award and at least $6,000 on over-matching. Huge difference on a small budget.

    To be sure, some of the pre-conceived ideas on what to buy have merit. Trouble is that if we don't do the job right, we can never quantify the merit. Fighting for all we can get with the blessing we've received is a duty we have to all American Taxpayers.

    earl (off the soapbox)

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    Earl: You are 100% right on the money!
    I've always advocated going out to bid on any purchase funded by AFG rather than going to GSA or state bid lists. You can almost always work a better deal through discussions with the sales rep that needs just a little more volume to make their quarterly or annual quotas. They will tend to sharpen their pencils a little more and work to get your business, rather than knowing they have an automatic profit margin off the state bid list.
    We like you have saved over 15 k on bidding that went towards buying additional gear & equipment and towards FP&S.
    A couple of years ago we were awarded new SCBA and buy negotiating with the vendors we purchased 12 new 2007 compliant packs with all the bells for 1800 $ less than the other bidders. The secret???? we bought salesmen's demo packs that had been used at trade shows and department demos. The savings allowed us to add an amendment to purchase an additional 10 spare 4.5 bottles. And we still had enough left over to spend 4750.00 on additional gear
    Smart shopping brings BIG rewards!

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