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Thread: State Contracts

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    Default State Contracts

    I think i've seen a post on the forums where somebody posted official language from FEMA stating that a department does not have to follow the normal procurement policy (i.e., solicit 2 or more bids) if they purchase portable radios (800 mhz APCO p25) from a state/county contract that had already been bid.

    I can't seem to find that post.

    If somebody has that official language either from the PG, grant management tutorial, or an email from a Regional Program specialist, help desk, etc...I'd appreciate it if you can please repost or PM me.

    Thanks
    -dave



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    Red face Me Too!

    I asked that question last year at a local workshop and was told that we are covered but I dont have the proper documentation. I will need it if I get a grant for 09, Sly said I still have achance and I hope he is right.

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    I think you will find that the current response from the AFG folks is that they want you to go out to competitive bidding on communications projects.
    Jam24 is going through this process right now on a regional comm project. State bid price is seldom the best price that can be obtained through competitive bidding , and the feds have figured this out.
    State bid pricing is a way to buy a specific product while avoiding having to go out to bid and paying too much for that product!

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    I think you will find that the current response from the AFG folks is that they want you to go out to competitive bidding on communications projects.
    Jam24 is going through this process right now on a regional comm project. State bid price is seldom the best price that can be obtained through competitive bidding , and the feds have figured this out.
    State bid pricing is a way to buy a specific product while avoiding having to go out to bid and paying too much for that product!
    Island,

    This particular department is within a county that operates solely on a Motorola Apco P25 800 Mhz digital trunked system. The county does not allow non-Motorola radios and the system won't support other manufacturers' radios. Therefore, I can see the benefit of soliciting bids from multiple motorola reps, but I can't see why FEMA will require bids from non-motorola manufacturers.

    Is there something i'm missing? Any insights?

    Thanks
    -dave

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    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    I really can't comment on your situation as I haven't dealt with it. To only be able to buy one type of radio seems to be a way of guaranteeing that vendor exclusive rights to charge whatever they da@n well please knowing you can't do anything about it .
    I only know that Jim thought he could go to state bid and was told by the grants specialist to go out to competitive bidding for his project.

    Just my personal observations & only my personal opinions:
    Anytime a govt entity requires you to buy from a specific vendor ONLY makes me think that someone is on the take.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davepa View Post
    I think i've seen a post on the forums where somebody posted official language from FEMA stating that a department does not have to follow the normal procurement policy (i.e., solicit 2 or more bids) if they purchase portable radios (800 mhz APCO p25) from a state/county contract that had already been bid.

    I can't seem to find that post.

    If somebody has that official language either from the PG, grant management tutorial, or an email from a Regional Program specialist, help desk, etc...I'd appreciate it if you can please repost or PM me.

    Thanks
    -dave

    Yeah, Island is right.

    Here is what I have encountered. Yes, you can go with a sole source provider (vendor) who is licensed to sell at state contract pricing. Which was my intention. I was going to have excess funds anyway and the cash match came from my county government, not out of my departments operating budget. (We've paid a bundle just getting it together) .

    Anyway, I received a phone call from my regional DHS/AFG Grant Management Specialists last Thursday. He wished to relay FEMA's strong preference for awardees to forego staying with a single vendor who was offering state contract prices and instead continue with soliciting competitive bids.

    I was going to go with a vendor who was offering state contract pricing as I did not want to go through the process of sending out bids and sitting though a spec session with this regional radio comm grant that I was awarded. I had just done one a week ago tomorrow and it was not fun at all. It was going to be so much simpler working with one vendor. Then two days later I get a call from my regional GMS relaying the above preferences from FEMA. When I asked why they wanted the bids he said FEMAs real reason was because they were aware that some of these agreements between the state and manufacturers were as old as three years and FEMA felt that some of the costs may have gone down and discounts may be able to be increased. The real reason has got to be FEMA justs wants to get the best prices possible and the only real way to do it is by the competitive bid process. Even though FEMA stated that you can go with a sole source provider (vendor) who is allowed to sell at discounts because, (they said earlier) that the states had gone through a lot of time and expense getting these discounts set up. Maybe its because they aren't involved in some of the state contract pricings because they are between some states and the manufacturers. My rep said he was unaware of the arrangements in Nebraska.

    Island advised me to send out the bids earlier and I thought I would take a shortcut. It ended up at least early in the process for me and I have decided to send out two notices to bidders. Since that is the minimum. I would never dare put out an ad for this as I would never get a moments peace. Sales reps are circeling around trying to find me as it is. leaving info on the departments doorknob and sending fedex packets to the mayor trying to get a contact.

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    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davepa View Post
    Island,

    This particular department is within a county that operates solely on a Motorola Apco P25 800 Mhz digital trunked system. The county does not allow non-Motorola radios and the system won't support other manufacturers' radios. Therefore, I can see the benefit of soliciting bids from multiple motorola reps, but I can't see why FEMA will require bids from non-motorola manufacturers.

    Is there something i'm missing? Any insights?

    Thanks
    -dave
    If it is a Motorola APCO 25 digital trunked system, it should support other vendors, and the county not wanting to use other radios is wacked.

    Now - if it is another flavor of Motorola trunking, then yes, Motorola and EF Johnson are probably the only vendors that can provide the technical end.

    And multiple Motorola vendors can still save you money. Excess funds can be fun to spend!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    If it is a Motorola APCO 25 digital trunked system, it should support other vendors, and the county not wanting to use other radios is wacked.

    Now - if it is another flavor of Motorola trunking, then yes, Motorola and EF Johnson are probably the only vendors that can provide the technical end. !
    That was the point of my response above. Telling a department they can only buy "M"
    Makes me wonder!!!!

    Jim I tried to tell you thats what The Feds would want . I'd previously had that conversation with them

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    The choice to stick to one brand is a tech support issue, many counties have that. So when something breaks or needs programming there's only one brand involved. Costs slightly more sometimes in the beginning but when things go wrong the IT folks don't have to play guessing games or vendor hop for info. Two sides to every coin. First company I worked for out of college bought the desktops for our clients to use with our software, and only approved applications could be put on these computers after the other department installed and tested. When one went down, we shipped another one ASAP with everything installed and took the other one back. No customer down-time and easy to support internally. Minimal surprises happened that we didn't find first in the development section. Not saying that it's the best way to go in radio land but if there's no support system then things go to pot real quick. Hi-tech solutions tend to have hi-tech problems that aren't real easy to fix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    If it is a Motorola APCO 25 digital trunked system, it should support other vendors, and the county not wanting to use other radios is wacked.

    Now - if it is another flavor of Motorola trunking, then yes, Motorola and EF Johnson are probably the only vendors that can provide the technical end.

    And multiple Motorola vendors can still save you money. Excess funds can be fun to spend!
    I'm not a radio tech guy by any stretch of the imagination and i'm learning as i go on this one...

    I'm told that the radio system is a motorola smartzone system. The only radios that will theoretically function on the digitial trunked portion of the system are Motorola and EF johnson. However, various departments have tried the EF johnson and the tolerances are so tight that the EF johnson radios wouldn't work. Therefore, the only way to get a bid on a Kenwood or other non-motorola radio would be to get a non-compliant 800mhz analog capable radio only.

    Ultimately, we'll get the bids to have for our files and to satisfy the government...but it doesn't make sense if the only radios capable of utilizing the digital fire talk groups are from motorola...

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    Quote Originally Posted by davepa View Post
    I'm not a radio tech guy by any stretch of the imagination and i'm learning as i go on this one...

    I'm told that the radio system is a motorola smartzone system. The only radios that will theoretically function on the digitial trunked portion of the system are Motorola and EF johnson. However, various departments have tried the EF johnson and the tolerances are so tight that the EF johnson radios wouldn't work. Therefore, the only way to get a bid on a Kenwood or other non-motorola radio would be to get a non-compliant 800mhz analog capable radio only.

    Ultimately, we'll get the bids to have for our files and to satisfy the government...but it doesn't make sense if the only radios capable of utilizing the digital fire talk groups are from motorola...
    Ahhh... Smartzone. Now it makes sense. Thats a whole nother animal.

    Yeah, whoever bought the system in the first place pretty much asked for a reaming.

    I would be personally screaming though about the EFJ, they should work - perhaps the system needs some attention.

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    Yep : with a smartzone system you better get the KY out cause it's going to hurt!
    You are forced to buy one radio from one manufacturer and they don't come inexpensive.
    As I understand it it's a proprietary software issue that limits the options of choosing another manufacturers equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Ahhh... Smartzone. Now it makes sense. Thats a whole nother animal.

    Yeah, whoever bought the system in the first place pretty much asked for a reaming.

    I would be personally screaming though about the EFJ, they should work - perhaps the system needs some attention.
    Blake will you give me your email address again. Canít seem to find it. Got something I need to send you. Or you can e-mail me at dfd701@bellsouth.net and I can reply. Thanks!! Oh my FV app. made it to the panel but donít know what it scored. ď75 ft. aerial platformĒ Made it to the panel, donít know what that means. Can anyone elaborate on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfd701 View Post
    Oh my FV app. made it to the panel but donít know what it scored. ď75 ft. aerial platformĒ Made it to the panel, donít know what that means. Can anyone elaborate on this?
    I'm confused by what you're asking...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLY4420 View Post
    I'm confused by what you're asking...
    Yes I am also. I email my grants rep. last week to ask about my FV app. because what I really wanted to know was about the urban vs. rural statists. She emailed me back today and said it made it to the panel but didnít know what it scored and that she would have to watch that one. That was all she said and I just didnít know exactly what that meant. Maybe I need to call her on the phone but I know how busy they are and don't want to bother them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfd701 View Post
    Yes I am also. I email my grants rep. last week to ask about my FV app. because what I really wanted to know was about the urban vs. rural statists. She emailed me back today and said it made it to the panel but didnít know what it scored and that she would have to watch that one. That was all she said and I just didnít know exactly what that meant. Maybe I need to call her on the phone but I know how busy they are and don't want to bother them.
    She was telling you the grant made it past the computer and went to Peer Review.

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