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includes operating system upgrades that may require hardware replacement and mitigation of potential
future incompatibility issues. Such an approach helps ensure the best value over the useful life of the system.
The ISSA owner should attempt to ensure legal protection if the vendor of any of its software (including
operating system software) goes out of business, is purchased by another company, or otherwise
discontinues support of the software. One method is to require that the software source code be placed in
escrow and that the escrowed source code be updated whenever the software is changed, or by purchasing
the source code.
Delivery of source code for the operating system and database management system is normally not required.
Typical criteria for ISSA system selection include:
Compliance with regulatory requirements
User friendliness/ease of use
Reliability, availability, and operability
Quality of product
Vendor qualifications and past performances, unless precluded by local regulation.
Currency of the technology
Ability of the system to accommodate deployed systems, future expansion and modification.
Procurement of a PACS, PIDS, or ISSA any complex physical security program typically begins with a
professional services contract to a security consultant or an engineering design firm with specific expertise
in airport security system. This contract typically supports a scope of services which requires the firm or
consultant to prepare contract documents including plans and specifications for the ISSA physical security
program. The goal of these plans and specifications is to provide construction packages which allow the
airport or agency to use these documents to competitively bid the provision and installation of these systems
to a selection of security system integrators and contractors.
Generally, there are two steps to navigate through an airport agency procurement process. The first is the
selection of the design firm or consultant and the second is the selection of the contractor. Airports, being
owned and operated by specialized agencies or local governments, often have specific procurement rules.
In practice, the majority of these rules are applicable to more commodity type of procurements but there
are usually different rules which are set aside for the procurement of specialized professional architecture
and engineering (A&E) services contracts that can cover both design and construction.
In the procurement of such professional services, two general approaches should be considered:
Request for proposal (RFP) in which minimum qualifications for selection are documented, and
required tasks for performance are clearly defined. The primary advantage to this approach is that
it is one-step and therefore reduces calendar duration of selection. A primary disadvantage is that
procurement personnel can be tempted to overlook qualification defects in the name of lower cost.
This can be assuaged by submitting proposal documents, and cost documents in separate sealed
envelopes, and evaluating them separately.
Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in which only firm and staff qualifications and experience are
submitted, and results in a “short list” of qualified firms. The agency can then negotiate a price with
the most qualified firm based on the defined scope of work, or issue the RFP to the short list for
Many airports and other agencies use yet another type of procurement vehicle and issue RFQs for
qualified firms for call-in agreements, with awards to multiple firms. Task orders are then bid on an
ongoing basis on an as-needed basis for a one or multiyear basis. This can ensure that task order RFPs
can be issued at any time with minimal effort for scopes of work in a defined range of cost. This can work
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