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well if there are many design tasks that can be performed independently by multiple firms concurrently.
In any form of procurement, two important things need to be considered:
While cost is always an important consideration and responsibility for any publically funded
project, it must be recognized that procurement of security systems is mission critical and must be
based on qualifications and experience and not just low price. The airport and the public are best
served when a procurement strategy aims to obtain the lowest cost through a fair competition
among equally qualified vendors.
The security consultant or engineering design firm must be experienced in airport security systems,
and meet a set of minimum qualifications including documented past work with TSA regulations,
airport agencies, and development of construction plans and specifications for security systems
public agencies for systems of similar size and scope. It is highly advisable to require submittal of
qualifications and experience for the personnel who will be assigned to the project as well as the
firm itself, to ensure that the staff with the requisite experience is still with the firm and will work
on the design project. Key staff, management plan, technical approach, schedule and compliance
with all requirements should documented by competing firms submitted in their submittals. In order
to obtain competitive cost estimates for design services, the procurement request must include a
defined scope of work and of tasks to be performed similar to that for other construction services.
Ideally selection criteria and weighting of each should be determined prior to procurement and
communicated to competing firms.
The scope of work of the security consultant or engineering design firm will result in construction plans
and specifications. However, the following tasks are closely related to ISSA design and ideally should be
completed prior to commencement of system design:
Risk and Threat Assessment- One of the primary objectives of the ISSA is to establish and maintain
compliance with federal regulations and airport local security requirements. But, every airport has
unique local conditions including geography, terrain, surrounding areas, etc. that affect the security
of the site and facilities. A Risk and Threat assessment can analyze and document additional
security requirements and prioritize them so that appropriate decisions can be made to reduce risk.
An assessment can also identify which security requirements can be addressed with technology and
which require personnel.
Security Plan- the ISSA deployment is a major part of the security plan that the airport must develop
and maintain, so the consultant should work closely with staff to ensure that the system design
reflects the objectives of the Security Plan.
CONOPS (Concept of Operations) - a CONOPS documents the required functionality that the
airport security operations require to fulfill their mission and describes how personnel will interact
with the system to perform daily tasks and to respond to various incidents including emergencies.
Often CONOPS requirements will drive IASS design in a specific way and can affect selection of
security equipment, application software, sensors, and approach to integration. With deployments
like PSIM, a CONOPS is mission critical in order to define configuration of the software to
automate and structure response to various incident types.
When construction plans and specifications are complete, the package is normally bid to installation
contractors; however not all contractors are experienced and qualified to install systems with a high content
of technology, network and software applications, therefore it is essential that qualifications and experience
of potential bidders be a part of the procurement process. A “low bid” process, such as is used for more
generic construction work, will almost guarantee a lack of success for an IASS. Furthermore, many PACS
and VMS vendors require that security contractors and system integrators be registered dealers of their
equipment and software or in some other way be vendor certified; this is good in that it ensures that only
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