Subscriber Discussion

Problem? 5 Bids, Low Bid Half Of Next Lowest

Take a look at this contract from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The cameras, being placed at 15 locations city-wide, will be motion-activated and send alerts to a monitoring center run by Chavez Security who has agents that will determine what action to take. The city hopes to have the system up and running in eight weeks.

Here are the original VMS and camera requirements specified by Santa Fe. What stands out to you about this contract?

Other than the disparity of $1M between high and low bid? Our company almost bid on this.

Almost bid on it? What made you reconsider?

I think a private entity monitoring public spaces and determining what police action is necessary is an ACLU action waiting to happen.

The company who won it are a security guard oriented company. We heard about the opportunity late, however we do a lot of video and access control with the state agencies.

Reminds me of a phrase I heard a CEO of a monitoring company say "The company who will win it will be the ones who overlooked the most things"

Hi RJ, to your point, the bigger thing that jumped out to me was that the low bid was ~50% less than the next lowest bid. That's a pretty damn big spread. The difference appears to be centered around storage / servers cost. I've copied an excerpt of the bid tabulation sheet to make it easier for others to review:

No P/W scales, Use outsource labor, Have on the fly contract services ( no overhead, benefits or other cost ). Thats why the difference. Is this Public,Federal Money? They Must see Extra's or something missing in bid spec's

Based on the spec, it sounds like they've done some research into what is conceptually practical, but did not follow through on specifying things clearly enough to implement this in a manner that will actuall achieve their desired outcome.

They are (IMO) going to end up with a system that crushes the monitoring site with tons of events and then end up turning the whole thing off.

I see exactly what Spurr said about missing the most items. How for instance are they going to replace an existing toll booth camera and run the video over cellular for $615?

Interesting... I don't see a low voltage license for Chavez Security Inc., which is required by the State of NM.