The Proposal Fell Short “We conducted a detailed assessment to identify the needs of the agencies that would use the system — sheriff's office, police, fire, public works — and then poured through the vendor's proposal and concluded that the proposed system would not meet user requirements and the contract should not be awarded as is," said Greg Munchrath, Regional Director for Black & Veatch's telecommunications business. He said that the sole-source proposal fell short in several ways. The proposed radio coverage throughout the county was inadequate, certain key pieces of equipment were missing, which would have to be added later at additional cost, and the project was overpriced. As part of the consulting engagement, Black & Veatch “spent quite a bit of time discussing the agencies' collective radio coverage requirements in detail. We developed system alternatives to help the county and participating cities better understand potential system replacement alternatives," Munchrath said. His team, in conjunction with the county and city participants, developed a request for proposals that received two competitive radio system responses. “Competition in the system procurement process is good for the county. System providers work harder, develop better system proposals and designs, and provide better pricing," Munchrath said. “The system providers compete intensely. It is important to utilize a thorough and objective evaluation process to select the best offering and protect the buyer from potential protests from firms who are not selected. The Solution To evaluate the proposals, Black & Veatch recommended that the county form a committee of representatives from the county government, its purchasing and legal departments, Black & Veatch, and the participating cities. Both system proposals were evaluated by the committee. The winning vendor offered better guaranteed radio coverage and higher-tier user radios, at $2 million less than the original sole-source proposal. Throughout implementation, Black & Veatch helped oversee the work, maintain the project schedule and resolved problems. In addition, Black & Veatch set up acceptance testing to ensure the system was installed correctly and functioned properly. The new radio system provides a single shared radio communications infrastructure that supports the county and all five cities. Each jurisdiction has its own dedicated radio channels, and has radio interoperability channels that provide excellent radio communications between all the users on the new system. “At the outset, Rockwall County commissioners’ court recognized that the county needed consulting assistance in this important procurement. With the help of Black & Veatch, the county and participating cities did it right," Munchrath said. Beyond the Rockwall County line, the new system incorporates a robust radio communications interoperability plan that facilitates communications with neighboring counties and municipal neighbors across the lake. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you. 0 Related Insights The 4 Foundational Elements of Digital Connections With robust foundational infrastructure, a connected community can more effectively integrate connect-sense-and-respond capabilities into its framework, changing the very nature of its system. Five Steps to a Successful NERC-CIP Low-Impact Assessment Recognizing the growing threat that cyber-attacks pose to the national power grid, the U.S. federal government is working to strengthen its protection of our critical infrastructure. To support this effort, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a NERC-CIP reliability standard that increases protections of less-critical assets. Here are five steps to a successful NERC-CIP low-impact assessment. 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