Fri Jan 15 12:16:49 2016
FirstNet released the final RFP and today, Friday the 15th from 1-3 pm EST, it is providing a kick-off webinar. The link for access is on the FirstNet.gov website.
This version of the RFP is a long way from the original that was released in the spring of 2015. I have to give the folks at FirstNet credit, in most cases it has managed to change the RFP from a government procurement document to a much friendlier partner RFP. However, I do wish I had a dollar for each time the terms FAR for Federal Acquisition Regulation, CAR for Department of Commence Acquisition Regulation, and DIAR for Department of Interior Acquisition Regulation were used. If I did I would never have to purchase another lottery ticket. I know this is a stupid question, but why three (3) sets of sometimes overlapping rules and regulations?
There are still sections that contradict other sections and plenty of procurement-type writing in the document, but on the whole it is a much more acceptable and workable document that for the most part should be well received by potential bidders (or as the RFP fondly calls them, Offerors). I still prefer potential partner myself. There is a mountain of documents to wade through and like many others I am still in the process of reading and digesting some of the content that is new or reworded. FirstNet will respond to Questions (submitted on the correct form), and has scheduled a pre-proposal conference on March 10, 2016, with RFP responses due April 29, 2016. I am willing to bet that some potential respondents will still throw stones at this RFP but I think it is a workable document that gives vendors incentives to be creative in their responses.
FirstNet is moving forward, let’s hope that once RFP responses have been submitted the award process does not slow to typical federal system speed. While this is a very complex network with many parties involved, Public Safety, which is the end-user community, needs this network in place sooner rather than later! Even though this is an election year with the usual change of seats in the higher levels of the government and new political appointments, I hope those involved in this process will move the award decision forward with all possible speed and not wait around to see who their new boss will be.
Have a Great Weekend!
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