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Fulton denies new 911 radio bid: Concerned over sole bidder

April 23, 2013
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. – At its recess meeting April 17, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to deny the $21 million proposal for the emergency communications E-911 radio system upgrade with Motorola Solutions.

The proposal was for the upgrade and expansion of the existing analog radio system infrastructure, which is dangerously out of date, to a digital system.

Commissioner Robb Pitts expressed concerns about the procurement process and whether or not the Request for Proposals (RFP) contributed to the county not receiving a larger pool of respondents and even causing some businesses to be excluded from the bid process. Motorola was the only bidder. Commissioner Tom Lowe agreed with Pitts' concerns along with other members of the board, and a motion was made to deny the contract to Motorola.

The board then directed staff to develop a new proposal and rebid this service in a way that does not exclude nor restrict other vendors from being able to respond to the request for proposal.

"It is vitally important to the citizens of Fulton County that we make every effort to be good stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars and that we have a procurement process that is fair and equitable to everyone," said Pitts. "I believe that by rebidding this contract, we will not only send business owners the message that we believe in an inclusive process, but that we may also save the county money by allowing them another opportunity for real competitive bidding."

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    Prudent move on Fulton counties' part
    April 25, 2013 | 02:37 PM

    It's about time some competence is shown on behalf of the commission. The vendor in question has a habit of writing RFP's that call for proprietary systems with unlimited cost ceilings. Requiring a multi-vendor contract and allowing other vendors who have P25 phase II compliant systems like Harris and Cassidian means taxpayers get the best for their investment, and the best product for our public safety professionals without being locked into another proprietary system, like the one we already have. Hats off to Mr. Pitts and Mr. Lowe for calling the baby ugly. It's about time the way public safety radio system procurement is done is changed. And Fulton county is leading the way with this move.

    Mr. Smartnet
    Atlanta, GA
  2. report print email
    Radio system
    April 26, 2013 | 10:27 AM

    Though I do believe, in my professional opinion, that Motorola does in fact make a far superior system and product compared to any other vendor, the customer must take pains to ensure that ther bid specification is for a true, fully Project 25 compliant system which allows any Project 25 vendor's equipment to be usable within the system. Proprietary features are to be avoided at all costs. Also be aware, salesmen will try to over-sell a system which is most profitable instead of most sensible. Fulton County should NOT be considering an 800 MHz system as a UHF system is more appropriate for the terrain and conditions.

    Mr. J
    Melbourne, FL
  3. report print email
    Agreed, but UHF is not pracitcal
    April 27, 2013 | 01:21 PM

    I certainly agree that any agency putting together an RFP should ensure that a true, non-proprietary P25 system should be procured, but the idea that Fulton county should switch to the UHF frequency band is not practical.

    Every other metro Atlanta county uses the 800MHz band, and switching to UHF would make interoperability even more difficult, as multi-network digital subscriber radios are cost prohibitive from any vendor.

    Not one metro Atlanta public safety entity uses the UHF band. The benefits of slightly more coverage with maybe one less site is negated by the fact that the county would be on a band that is not utilized for public safety in this region, and would make their system inaccessible to the thousands of existing radios the county already owns- and the thousands of other radios already in use in the region.

    Remember, the county is only putting out a bid to replace INFRASTRUCTURE and not SUBSCRIBER radios. Switching RF bands would mean replacing about 3000 radios which would only drive up the cost tremendously.

    Mr. Smartnet
    Atlanta, GA
  4. report print email
    Radio system what?
    April 27, 2013 | 07:01 PM

    Mr J quote "Motorola does in fact make a far superior system and product compared to any other vendor" This statement is so far from the truth. You need to look at the other vendors. You must have a "Status Quo" mindset.
    People that say they are far superior are the ones costing us (the tax payer) more money then needs to be spent. It about time someone took a stand. We pay the taxes and our leaders need to lookout for use and make it fare. I wonder who helped to write the big. Batwings?

    Mr. Anti-status quo
    Valdosta, Ga
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