1. #1
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    Default AFG Bidding Requirements

    A question on a discussion that I had with a FEMA AFG rep regarding bidding requirements:

    We were going to put the following statement in our bid spec (for alerting pagers), and the FEMA rep told me that it likely violates the new "fair competitive bidding" requirements:

    The successful bidder must represent a manufacturer’s certified or approved service location for the pager manufacturer, and shall have a minimum of four (4) Certified Electronics Technicians (CET’s), as established by the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET). Documentation of said certifications and/or approvals shall be provided with the bid.

    I was on my cell phone, and away from any office referneces when he said this, but now in reviewing my materials, I can't figure out why this might be considered inappropriate or improper. Anyone got any insight???
    Last edited by DFDCar1; 03-10-2010 at 10:56 AM.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

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  2. #2
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    At first blush, here would be my thoughts.

    Why do the people selling you pagers need all those service certs, for a product that is not normally serviced (other than cosmetics, case, knobs, etc) in the field, rather put in a mailer for factory depot service?

    Add to that, the ISCET is not a trade group, not an industry group, rather just a testing organization. Most people look towards the FCC testing as something viable for the LMR industry.

    I guess my point is, not many shops have ISCET techs, but can and do perform all the tasks that would be needed legally and with full competance. To me, it appears to be a way to lock in a specific shop to a sale. Honestly, I have provided specs like this for customers in the past myself - for just that purpose.

    If it were me, I would just add ESP to the pagers for 4 years, cover that cost from my FD budget, and when there is an issue drop the pager in the mailer myself and send it for repair. Quicker than using a middleman (dealer)

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    What he said. Basically setting a requirement on service facility location or anything else is considering to be discriminatory and prohibits open competition. So you have to leave that out of the bid.

    But....the reason you chose a vendor was the availiability of service personnel. The changes to the bidding requirements (more accurately a clarification since Title 44 has been law for a long time) is meant to allow everyone a chance to get in the door and be heard. Once you look at what they have then you can make a decision based on certain metrics such as customer service, repair issues, comfort, usability, etc, etc, etc. That's why there is no low-bid requirement. Following the evaluation process gives reasonable justifications on why the chosen vendor was chosen.

    Also alleviates the issue of vendors complaining that no one touched their stuff before buying someone else's. If you get your hands on it and it fails the evaluation then it's reasonable not to buy that stuff. So this is the means of shutting up people that complain about losing every fair bid. DHS will not investigate anything unless a lawsuit is filed by a vendor from now on, making everyone put their money where their lawyer is.

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    Thank you both for the great feedback! Every day is a learning day on these forums!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

    George S. Patton

  5. #5
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    Yes thanks that was helpful to me also. LVFD you are a walking library. Like he said I am learning things every time I login.

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