New RFP: 10 Years Out of Date

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on May 05, 2013

Bad RFPs are an unfortunate fact of life in video surveillance - hurting end users and frustrating quality integrators. A new RFP from Oklahoma is a great example - incredibly out of date and hard specified to a manufacturer in steep decline. In this note, we break down the RFP and explain the issues involved.

Taft Stadium holds some history. The stadium, originally a New Deal project, has gone through numerous renovations over the years, but now the Oklahoma City icon is undergoing a major facelift.

********** *** *** ***** **** ** ***** ****** *** ********. This **** ****** **** ******* ** ******* * ******** ****** too. We’ve *********** ***** ** *** *** ******, *** ******** **** *** **** **** **** **** **** a **** *******, ** *** ****** *** **** *** ***.

*******

*** ** *** ***** ****** ** ******* ** ****-**** ***** **** *** ******** ********* ***** *** ** **** ** recording. ***** *** ** **** ** ******* ** **** *****. They *** ** **** ** ******* ** **** ** ***** with *****, *** **** *** ***** ** **** ** ************* ******** *** ***********, ***** ****** *** ***** *********** ** **** **** *** ****** ***** *********. ********** **** the ******* *** ****** ** *********** ********** **** *** * little **** ***** **** ***** *** ******** *** ** *******. Indeed, *** ************* ** *************, ** *** ********* ** **** 4 **** ***, *** ******* ** **** * **** *** detailed **** **** ************* **** *****. **** *** ** ***** low ******** ********** ***** (*** *** ****).

Frame **** *** ***********

* ** ****** *** ****** ****** ***** *********** ****** ********* to *.** ****** *** ****** *** ****** *******, ***** ** very *** *** ************ ********* *****.*** ******** ********* ****** **** **** ****** ** **********. *** **** *** MP4 *********** ** ********. **** ******* *** *** *.*** ******* it ** **** *** **** ********* *** *** **** *******.
Dome ********The housing dimensions requested for this project (6 inches round x 3.6 inches deep) are bigger than modern mini domes. There are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing domes readily available. Most users would prefer smaller housings, and there are many affordable options available. Requiring a specific (large) size is counterproductive.

*******

*** **** ***** *** *** *******, *******, *****, ****** ******* are ****** *** ****. **** **** *** *** * ****** camera ** ********* ****. ************, *** *** ***** ******* ***** placed ****** *** ******* ***, ***** ** ** *********** ***** how ***** ******* *** ***** ** ** ******* ** *********.

Manufacturer ******

*** *** ********************** **********, ******** *** ** ********** ************ ******** *************, *** *** ****** ***** ****. **** ***** ** ******** on *** *******'********** *********** * **** ********* ****** **** ****** * **% **** in ****** *******. 

*******?

** **, ***** ***** **** ************* ***** *** ******* **** a *** *** ** **** ****** *** *** **** **** much ***** ******** ** * ****** ********. *****, ***** ********* Micro's ********, **** ****** ********** ** **** *** ****** ******* and *******. ** **** ******* *** ** ******** **** ****** ******* for **** *********** **** ***. ** **** ****** **** ***** response.

******: 

* ***** ** *** ******* ******* ** ***** **** ************ ** **** **** **** ******** ******** *** **************, *** it *** ** *** ****.

“*** ****** *** **** ** ** ********* ** ******** ** the *******,” *** ******* ****. “** **** *** *** ******** that *** ******* ** *** ****** ***** *** ****’* **** he ********. **** ******** *** ******* ** * ******** ******* manager ** * ***’* ****** **** * *** ** ********* aspects ** *** ** ***** ***** [**************]. ** ******* **** them **** ** ***** ** ********* ****** *** ** *** afford ** ** ** ***** *** ** **** *******, *** it ***** **** ** ****’* ** **** ****.”

**** $** ******* *** ******** ** ******** **** **** *** another ******* ** *** ******* ** ******* **** * ***** budget. The ******* ******* **** ** ** **** ** ******* *** suggestions, ******* ** ****** **** *** *** ** ****** ** *** ** ******** ** the *** ******* *** ******** *** *** ******* ** *****.

“** ***** ** ********* ****** *** *****, ** **** ** willing ** ** **** **  ... **’** *** ** ** a ****** ***** ** **-******** *** ****,” ** ****.  

Comments (12)

It is probably one of those bureaucratic issues where something gets planned and spec'd, delayed, delayed, and finally it is very difficult to change the specs. Seems to happen with just about any large organization, especially government, especially something run as a construction project.

350 cubic yards of concrete in a spec won't change much, if at all over 5-10 years, technology is a different story...

I wish I knew who to send this to in OKC to make them take a step back and revamp this spec......I am sometimes angered at how our money is spent.

Mike, there is someone you can talk to, but in my expereience they're not likely to listen. The procurement offices are supposed to keep an eye out for stuff like this, but in many cases they don't know any better.

The only way a client can issue a proper RFP is to hire a security consultant that is specifically a consultant for this security and CCTV - a consultant that is in the game. Unfortunately clients generally hire a general consulting firm for building their projects and they rarely add on a second consultant up to date with security. The end result is a copy-paste specs/RFP from these general consultants that use the same specs for 30 years.

Looks like a spec written by an electrical engineer rather than a security/surveillance specialist. This is very common on construction projects, where the architect assigns the surveillance system to the electrical engineer because it is "electrical".

While well-intentioned, most engineers aren't well versed on the latest surveillance technology and often write their specs based on whatever product literature they happen to have lying around and/or the last sales rep that visited their offices. Doing a "cut-and-paste" from a previous project spec is also very common. This one is actually a lot better than many I have seen.

Even a very well written spec can become dated very fast. On large construction projects, it is often two years or more between the time we submit our final spec and when the installation of equipment begins. Once something is in the construction contract, it can be an expensive bureaucratic nightmare to change it. On one large hospital project I did recently, it was seven years between when we started our design work and when the building was finally occupied.

On long running construction projects, I try to encourage my clients to install the infrastructure (conduits, backboxes, etc.) under the construction project, but postpone purchasing the technology (cameras, card readers, VMS, etc.) until the project is closer to completion. We usually include an allowance for technology in the construction budget so the owner can capture this in his overall construction costs. This strategy works well on private sector projects but many public agencies won't allow it.

After 27 years working in government I totally agree with Mike's statement. We so often forget just who's money we are spending. We have multiple layers of budget lines but not the bottom line Whick is the taxpayers money. As for the RFP, I have only been dealing with this side of things for about a year but the specs. look way out of date and I would be really interested to see what they are going to spend on this.

Just bit of free internet research and the membership fee to this site saved our Department about 10k on a 70k expansion project. Money and a bit of time well spent.

As a security/surveillance specialist (refering to Mike Silva's point), our consulting firm has been hired to right several projects that went off the rails. In other instances, the project already was in litigation and we were hired as expert witnesses.

In each case, we could point to key problems stemming from poor specifications because they were inaccurate, out of date, incomplete, or cobbled together from multiple sources (Pie-in-the-Sky). In the case of Pie-in-the-Sky specs, they are unbuildable and resulted in a change order domino effect or the integrator walking off the job.

Another comment about the title of this article "10 years out of date", AIA started formally promoting and contributing to CSI MasterFormat circa 2004. At that time, Security was given its own Division #28.

So yea... right at about 10 years out of date.

Before we totally castigate the school district we should realize that this is likely an outgrowth of constrained budgets and I would wager the old spec was dusted off and published to avoid trying to find the funds for an update of the specifications. Funding for education in Oklahoma is always near the ranking of states spending on education.

Question for the group: Ethically, do we as competent integrators and members of the public owe a duty to call the agency, the school district, and alert them to the problems with the RFP or just assume those firms pursuing the RFP will do that?

While it is tax payer money, it's the elected officials job to make sure the public employees are doing their jobs properly. There are various government agencies or oversight groups that are responsible for making sure the monies are well spent or multiple bids are requested. I don't feel that the private industry has an obligation to look out for such things other than to offer fair services at what they feel are a priced at market value.

Of course if an integrator or consultant is involved then they should have oversight and responsibility for the specs and cost involved but they too charge a fee to do so. There are many projects that require or benefit from these services but there are also many times public employees just default to paying the extra fees rather than doing some research on behalf of their true employer, the tax payer.

Jack, I tried to get in touch with Oklahoma City schools to discuss this with them before we published this post and contacted them them again today, providing a copy of what we wrote about it here. I'll keep you posted on what I hear back and what they want to say about it.

Carlton, I do believe it's the right thing to do. I suspected a local gov't-focused A&E firm had written the spec many years ago but they did not. Hopefully the school district will respond to your inquiry. If not, I know the Athletic Director's name and it's he who will inherit the facility in fine shape or poor. If your attempt bears no fruit, then I'll go at it from here.

Jack, I spoke to the project manager this afternoon. He said they're going to look into doing a change order for the project and that he's open to anyone who wants to contact him with suggestions. You can see the full update here.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...
Kogniz Silicon Valley AI Startup Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Kogniz is a Silicon Valley company that aims to bring AI analytics to security and surveillance, centering on their own smart cameras: We spoke...
Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Manufacturer 2018 on Nov 06, 2018
Who is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance use? 150+ integrators answered: What is your preferred brand/model of hard drive for...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Failure Statistics 2018 on Nov 02, 2018
Hard drive failures can be significant service problems but how common of an issue are they in video surveillance? How long do drives last when...
Building Occupancy Codes and Access Control Tutorial on Nov 01, 2018
A building or room's classification can greatly impact which building codes must be followed. In terms of access control, these 'occupancy codes'...
Cloud Video Storage Usage 2018 on Oct 31, 2018
Storing email and documents in the cloud have long been common, with on-site email or file servers increasingly eliminated. However, what about...
IACP 2018 Police Show Final Report on Oct 08, 2018
IPVM went to Orlando to cover the 2018 IACP conference, the country's largest police show (about as big as ASIS), examining the 700+...
Dell Launches IoT for Surveillance on Sep 05, 2018
Historically, Dell has been a PC and server provider (e.g., "Dude, you're getting a Dell") and widely used for surveillance storage. However, in...
Synology Surveillance Station VMS Tested on Aug 22, 2018
With so many low-cost NVRs and enterprise VMSes, is there any place in the market for NAS-based VMSes? Recently, IPVM bought a Synology NAS for...
2Gig Gun Lock / Motion Detector Tested on Aug 17, 2018
Safer guns for families and an opportunity for security dealers to sell more services? That is the aim of Nortek's 2GIG 'Gun Motion Detector'...

Most Recent Industry Reports

'Sticker' Surveillance Camera Developed (CSEM Witness) on Nov 16, 2018
The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has announced what it calls the: world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact