A do-over for LA-RICS?

Deltek Analyst Kristin Howe reports.

As reported in this morning’s Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles County announced its estimated $700 million Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) project is in jeopardy. Patrick Mallon, the project’s executive director, announced yesterday that, to comply with various California codes, the project should have been divided into three separate contracts: one for design and implementation of the system’s technical components; one for the design of the signal towers and other structures; and one for the actual building of the towers and structures. As it stands now, the project was only procured for through one, all-encompassing solicitation meant to lead to a single contract.

The goal of the project, which has been in the works for three years, was to create a modern, integrated wireless voice and data communications system to support more than 34,000 first responders and mission-critical personnel within the Los Angeles region. The project was originally designed after September 11, 2011, when it became clear that interoperability among first responders was a vital, yet severely lacking component to emergency response. The county began planning the project to ensure the thousands of first responders and emergency workers could communicate in the event of a large-scale crisis. While the events of 9/11 precipitated dozens of hearings on the issue of interoperability, and hundreds of similar ventures across the county, the LA-RICS project is one of the largest and most well-known of its kind.

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