To rebid, or not to rebid: that is the question

Deltek Analyst Evan Halperin reports.

Last week, the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) issued a solicitation for its statewide two-way radio requirement. The solicitation was a re-compete of a contract that inked in 2006 and is set to expire this year. VITA awarded contracts to six vendors from the previous solicitation and had been planning to issue the re-compete for several months. One might wonder if VITA wishes it had made the initial contracts longer in length, which would keep the agency from needing to go through a new solicitation process now. This is something many state and local agencies have to consider when going through a solicitation process.

State and local agencies typically solicit bids for radios and software due to a need to upgrade an aging system or technology. For this very reason, agencies may seek to award a shorter contract in order to upgrade that technology before it is out of date. However, in doing so, the agency must then rebid or re-solicit services more often, and possibly incur more costs through the solicitation process or the increased cost of services. It is quite a Catch-22. Agencies want to have the most up-to-date products in order to best serve the public, but new technology often means higher costs. Understandably, top-of-the-line technology doesn’t come cheap.

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