Low Quality Surveillance RFPs

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Feb 22, 2012

In our international integrator survey, respondents raised numerous concerns about low quality surveillance RFPs. In this report, we explain and examine their specific concerns.

Overview

Request for Proposals (i.e., RFPs) are a common method of purchase solicitation, favored by government, institutional, and municipal entities looking to buy large or complex systems. When a lot of money is spent on systems, more often than not, RFPs are issued. The goal, at least theoretically, is to find the best possible solution at the lowest available price.

For background, see our series of reviews on RFPs, examining good and bad aspects of them.

Concerns

We frequently hear industry professionals raise concern about the effectiveness and fairness of RFPs, and by extension, the security consultants and specifiers you create those proposals. Indeed, this has been a major element in heated discussions we have had about security consultant conflict of interest and the Axis Corruption Cruise.

The Question

Given the interest in this topic, we asked 100 integrators the following question:

In the extensive commentary provided, 4 common themes emerged regarding RFP quality problems: problems of RFPs being cut n pasted, incompetent specifiers, rigged proposals and slanted RFPs

** *** ************* ********** ******, *********** ****** ******** ******** ***** low ******* ************ ****. ** **** ******, ** ******* *** examine ***** ******** ********.

********

******* *** ********* (*.*., ****) *** * ****** ****** ** purchase ************, ******* ** **********, *************, *** ********* ******** ******* to *** ***** ** ******* *******. **** * *** ** money ** ***** ** *******, **** ***** **** ***, **** are ******. *** ****, ** ***** *************, ** ** **** the **** ******** ******** ** *** ****** ********* *****.

*** **********, *** *** ****** ** ******* ** ****, ********* **** *** *** ******* ** ****.

********

** ********** **** ******** ************* ***** ******* ***** *** ************* and ******** ** ****, *** ** *********, *** ******** *********** and ********** *** ****** ***** *********. ******, **** *** **** a ***** ******* ** ****** *********** ** **** *** ************* ********** ******** ** *********** ******* ********** ******.

The ********

***** *** ******** ** **** *****, ** ***** *** *********** the ********* ********:

** *** ********* ********** ********, * ****** ****** ******* ********* RFP ******* ********: ******** ** **** ***** *** * ******, *********** specifiers, ****** ********* *** ******* ****

[***************]

********

**** *** *** *** ******** **** *** *******:

  • * ** **** * *********** **** **** **** *** ******** enough **** **** ** *******.
  • ** *** **%+ *********** **** **********, * ***** ******** (**%) voted **** **** **** *** **** *********.

****'* **** ** ***** **** *********** ***** *** *********** *** were ******** **** ****:

********* *** ****** *******, * ****** '********' ****** ******

  • *** '* *****:*** "*** '* *****" ** "***********" ******* ** ******* ***** packages *** *** *********.
  • ***********:***** ******** *** ***** ******* ** ****** *** ** *** fully ********** ******* ***** *********.
  • ******:*** ***** ******* ** *** ******* *** **** ********** **********.
  • *******:**** *** ******* *** ******** ******** **** **** * *** vendors *** *******.

Cut '* *****

*** ******* ** *** ************** *** ******** ****** ** ****, due ** *** **-***** *** **** ******* **** *** ************* to *** ****. ****** * ************* '*** *** *****' *** then ********* ****** ******** ** **** ******** ***** ******* ** a ************* ****:

  • ** *********** ********** ** *******
  • ************* ******** **** *** ******** ** ****** ***
  • **** *** ********* ******* ************

**** *********** ********* *************** **** **** ********.  **** *** * selection ** ***** ********:

  • "********* **** *** *** ***** ** **** ** ****** *********** cost, ** *** ** ********* ** *** ** **** ** really ******."
  • "**** *** *** *** ****** **** * *** **** *** are *** ***** *** *** ***"
  • "**** ** *** ****** **** ****** ** *********** *** * lazy *** *** ***** **** ******** ************** *** ****** ******* info."
  • "********* ** *** ****** **** **** *** **** *** & paste **** **** ******* ** ******* ********** **** **** ****** actual *********** ** ******* ** ****** ******* **********."
  • "**** ***'* *** ******* ****** ** **** *** ********** ***** from * ****** ***** **** ****'* **** **** * ******* times ** *** ****. ********* **** *** *** ******* ******** and ***** ******* ** *** *** ** **********."
  • "**** *** * ** ******* ** ** ******** **** **** has **** ****** ** *** ***** ** ****. ** *** ever **-****** *****, **** **** ***** **** ****."

** ****, ******* ************** *** ** ****** ** ****** *** do *** *********** *********** **** *****. ** *****, ***** ************** are * ****** ** ********* ************ **** *** *** *************.

***********

*********** ********* *********** ** *** **** ** ******* ********* ********* in *** ************* *******.  **** **** ** ********* *** ****** in ** '********** *************' ** **** ** ***** ** ****** costs *** ** ******** ***********.

  • "*** ******* ******* ******** ************** **** ** **** ** ***** access *** ********* ***** *** **** *********. ** **** ** HD ******* **** * ******* ********** ** ******."
  • "**** ***'* * *** *** * ******** ****. **% ** the ******** *********** * **** ****** *** *** ****** ******** guys *** **** ** ************* ** ** ************** *** *** afraid ** ******* *** ** *******. **** ** *** ******* challenge ** *** ******** ** ** **** *** *** * dont *** ***** **** *** ***** **** ****."
  • "**** *** ******* ** *********** *** **** ***** ********* * camera ** ****** ******. ** * ******, **** *** *** things **** ******** ****, ***. **** ***** ********* ******** *** service ***********."
  • "**** ****/**** **** ** ******* *** ******* *********** ********* ******. We ** * **** **** *** ** ********* * ******** to ******* *** ******** **** *** *** *** ** *******." "That ****, ** ***** ***'* *** ***** **** */* *** price ** ****** *** ** *** ***** **. ******* *** client ** **** ****** ****** *****."
  • "***** ******* ** *********** *** *** ******** ****-***** ** ******* their ******** *** ***'* **** **** **** *** ******** ******* about."
  • "******* **** *** ****** ******* ** ****** *** ***'* **** enough ***** *** ******* ** ******* **** *** *******."
  • "***** *** *** **** *********** **** ****** ** ** ***** or ****** ******* **** ***'* ********** *** **********. ****** ******* documents ****** ** ****** ****** ******* ******* *** *** **** loopholes. ** *** ***, * ***** ********** **** **** ** thinks ** *** *** **** **** *** **** ****** ****** the ***** *** *** *********** ********."

*** *** ******* ** ******** ** ******* '******-**-******' *********, *** permit * **** ***** ***********. **** *** ************* ** ****** *******, some ********** **** '************' ************* ** *** ****** *** ****** those ***** ** **** ** *** *** *********. ***** ********** **** choose *** ** ******** ******* ****** ******** '** *****', *** will **** ***** *** ******* *********** ***** ** ******* **** via '****** *****'. ** **** ****, *** *** ************* *** not ********* *** ******* ** ******* ******** *** ******** *******.

The ***** ******* ** *** ******* *** **** ********** **********.

**** *********** ********* **** *** *** ******* ** ** ******** in *********, ****** * ****** ** ****** ******* ** ******* 'someone ****'* ****'.  

  • "******** *** ********* ******* **** ***'* ** ** *** *** government **********...**** **** *** *** ****** ** ******* ******* ** the *********."
  • "** **** **** **** ***'* ** **** *** **** **** effort/low ****** ***** *** ******* **** **** *** ******* ** a **** **** **** ****** *** **** *** ******."
  • "...****** ** **** ****** ***** *** **** ** ******* **** bid ******** ******* **** *** * ***** ** **** *** usually ***** *** *-* ****** ***********"
  • "**** *** ****** ****** ** * ******** ****** ** ** not ******* ****** *********** ** ******* * ****** ********..."
  • "*** *** ********* ******* ** ********* **** ** ****** **** the ***** ** ***** ** ****** ******* * ********** ***** making ** ********** ** ***."

*********** *** ***** *********** ******* ********* *********, *** **** ********* require *** *******. *** **** **** ** ********* ** ** RFP *** ** ***********.  **** *********** *** ***** ** ****** in * ******* ***** *** ******* *** ******* **** **********, it ********** *** *********** ** *********** ** ***** **********. 

RFPs *** ******* *** ******** ******** **** **** * *** ******* *** *******.

*********** ********* *************** **** *** ******** ** **** ** '*****-**' specific ********* **** ** ************. **** ****** *********** *** **** in ***** ** *******, *** **** **** *** ***** ** potential ***********.

  • "*************, **** ***** **** *** ***'* ** **** **** *** very ****** ***** "**********" ********** ******** ******* *********** **** ** name."  
  • "***'* *** ********* ***'* **** *** ***** *****... *** **** RFP's **** ****** *** ******** ******** *** *** ******* ** solicit *********** ********."
  • "**** ** **** *** ******** *** ******* *******/******** *** ****** impossible ** ******* *********** *******. *** *******: ****** **** **** MxPEG ***********..."
  • "...***** **** **** *** ******* *** **** ******** ********* ** are *** **** **********."

**** ********* ** ********* *** ****** **** ***** ********** ********** to ************ ****, *** ** ***** ***** ** * ******* disadvatange ** *** ****** ** *** ***********.  

The **** *********

* ******* *****, **% (*/**) ** ***********, **** **** *** 'very ************' *********** **** ****. *** ******** ** ***** *********** *** typically ** ********** *** ******* *** *********** ****** *** *** rather **** ******** ** **** ********* **** *** ************** ** the ********. **** ******** **** **** ********** * ********'* ****** *** a *** ******, *** **** ******* *** ******** ** ******* response, ***** *********** *** **** ** **** * ************ ***** relationship **** *** **********.

 

**********

*****, **** ****** ** '***** *** ******* *****' ** *********** performance **********, *** *********** **** *** ****** ******* *** **** often ** **********, ********** ********, ** ********* **** ** ********** the **** ******** ****** ** *** ********, ***** ****** *** process ******* ** *******.

**** *********** ****** *** ** ******* ** **** ** ***, instead ****** *** '************ *****' ***** ** ** **-***** ***** of ******** *****. *** *** ********, **** ******** ***** ****** competition, *** ******* ** * **** **** *******-*** ******** ******.  Unfortunately, **** **** *********** **** *********** *** ***** ************, *** these '****** ******' ************* ****** ********** ** *********.

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