Prepare your RFP

The most commonly-selected procurement process in Public Safety communications system purchases is the Request for Proposal (RFP).

There are no commonly recognized, unbiased, detailed templates in circulation, but the following pages show a sample high-level table of contents for a new system
purchase RFP.

You can use it as a checklist to test your RFP for completeness.

Format and contents
Explain your requirements and expectations explicitly regarding the format and contents of proposals. The more uniform the format of the responses, the easier it will be for you to evaluate them. However, even if you succeed in making them relatively consistent, you can expect the responses to be voluminous, requiring a lot of labor to assess.

Special attention should be paid to pricing sheets. Spell out very clearly up front how you want the vendors to present pricing information. If vendors have the freedom to present discounts, software options, license fees in any way they choose, you will find that the pricing information is very difficult to analyze and compare.

  1. Introduction
    • Background, definitions, objectives of the project
    • Tentative schedule
    • General (commercial and legal) information for offers
    • Contract terms and conditions
    • Proposal contents, submission and evaluation
  2. Background and general description of work
    • Scope of work
    • Current communications system environment
    • Participating entities
    • Available frequencies and licensing information
    • System functional objectives
    • Available sites
    • Major system components
    • Services to be provided by the successful supplier
    • Services to be provided by the issuer
  3. General system requirements
    • Apco project 25 conformance
    • Coverage
    • Capacity
    • Interoperability
    • Resilience
    • Core and optional technical/operational network features
  4. Radio system infrastructure requirements
    • Network and site control
    • Network management
    • Repeaters
    • Expansion and migration capabilities
  5. Dispatch console requirements
    • Interface to voice radio system
    • Dispatch console features and performance requirements
    • Dispatch console configuration and interface requirements
    • Logging recorder
    • Dispatch console furniture
  6. Backbone transmission system requirements
    • Technology
    • Architecture
    • Capacity
    • Reliability
    • Management and functionality
    • Interfaces
  7. Subscriber radio equipment
    • Mobiles
    • Portables
    • Desktop stations
  8. Redundancy and backup considerations
    • Infrastructure requirements
    • Interconnection links
    • Physical security at network sites
  9. Communication site facilities/site improvements
    • Existing facility upgrades
    • New sites requirements
    • Equipment shelter specifications
    • Tower specifications
    • Generator specifications
    • Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) specifications
  10. System acceptance testing
    • Factory acceptance testing
    • Field acceptance testing
    • Backhaul tests
    • RF coverage acceptance test plan
    • Xx-day reliability performance test
    • As-built documentation
  11. System shipping and installation
    • Shipping
    • Radio system shelter/equipment room
    • Backhaul
    • Dispatch consoles
    • Mobile and control station radios
    • Removal of old equipment
  12. Operational, technical and user training
    • Radio system operational training
    • Radio system maintenance training
    • Radio system management training
    • User training
    • Backhaul system training
  13. System performance guarantees
    • Equipment and software
    • Subsystems
    • RF coverage
  14. Warranty maintenance and system support
    • System software and hardware warranty
    • Equipment support
    • Spare parts inventory
    • Warranty maintenance performance levels
    • Test equipment
  15. Detailed pricing instructions and templates

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Procuring your P25 System: Articles

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