Florida Selects Federal Engineering to Assist with Communications System Replacement
Monday, August 10, 2020 | Comments

The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) awarded Federal Engineering a contract to develop a business case, assist with procurement and provide ongoing project management support for the replacement of its Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS).

Federal Engineering will provide support and subject matter experts (SME) to assist in the implementation of the SLERS replacement system. SLERS currently provides radio communications capabilities for 22 state agencies with nearly 20,000 radios on the system.

“The state desires to develop a business case to identify solutions that will be considered for SLERS-2 and release a competitive procurement that will, at a minimum, utilize standards-based Project 25 Phase 2 technology while also considering emerging technologies to enhance interoperability, promote public safety, improve coverage and enhance audio clarity,” said Brad Barber, the Federal Engineering director principally responsible for the project. “Federal Engineering has completed more statewide radio projects than any other firm, and we will apply our vast knowledge gained through those projects to assist Florida in procuring a system that meets the state’s needs while minimizing risk.”

Florida first began the procurement process for the new system in 2016, eventually awarding Motorola Solutions a contract in 2018. The original system was built and maintained by Harris, which has since merged with L3 Technologies, to become L3Harris Technologies.

Following the contract award to Motorola Solutions, Harris protested the award in state courts. A Florida administrative law judge ruled in favor of Florida DMS in September 2018 and recommended that the contract be awarded to Motorola. After an appeal of that decision by L3Harris, an appeals court also ruled in favor of the DMS and Motorola.

However, at the start of this year, contract negotiations between Motorola and the Florida DMS fell apart, leading the DMS to withdraw its award.

The contract for the original SLERS system is set to expire on June 30, 2021, but had the option for a renewal. Under the contract, Florida had to provide L3Harris with notice that it wanted a renewal a year before it expired.

Florida’s 2020-2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) set aside $2.4 million to cover a renewal and directed Florida DMS to seek a renewal of the contract. At meetings of the Florida Joint Task Force on State Agency Law Enforcement Communications (JTF) in May, state officials said they were beginning negotiations with L3Harris on a contract renewal.

A spokesperson for L3Harris said the company had no updates on the renewal process and a spokesperson for the Florida DMS did not respond to a request for comment on the award of the contract to Federal Engineering.

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