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Justice, public safety and homeland security July review

Deltek Analyst Evan Halperin reports.

When looking back at the justice and public safety markets in July, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the happenings of the Los Angeles County Regional Interoperable Communications System project (LA-RICS). In mid-July, Senior Analyst Jeff Webster reported on the possible award of a contract to Raytheon, and Analyst Kristin Howe reported that LA County planned to cancel the solicitation and start from scratch. It is quite stunning to see a project of this size, estimated at $700 million, start from scratch after years of planning and countless hours of review and contract negotiations. To truly understand the impact of LA-RICS (and other projects), a deeper dive into canceled contracts is necessary.

As noted in a previous blog, the California procurement code should have required the LA-RICS project to be divided into three separate procurements rather than a single solicitation to contract one vendor. Due to this, the county opted to cancel contract negotiations with Raytheon and start the procurement process over. Being such a large-scale interoperable communications project, Los Angeles County has secured nearly a quarter billion dollars in federal funding to assist the project; however, due to deadlines for use of those funds, the money could be lost. So, not only does LA County lose the time and salary costs of its employees, it may also lose one-third of the funding to build out the ambitious, yet necessary, system.

While the LA-RICS project did not reach the point where a contract was signed and implementation work began, LA County spent many hours developing specifications for the project, in addition to multiple vendor conferences and nearly a year of review and contract negotiations. All of this development and review time are hours the county cannot get back, and many people consider it a waste. When the county reissues the solicitation, much of the specifications and details will have already been developed, but the review process and contract negotiations must take place again with three times as many solicitations.

For the complete blog, go here.

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