Florida DMS Releases Invitation to Negotiate for New SLERS Network
Friday, March 05, 2021 | Comments

The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) released an invitation to negotiate (ITN) for the replacement of its Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS). The deadline for submitting to the ITN is May 11.

Under the ITN, the DMS is seeking a 700/800 MHz Project 25 Phase 2 trunked simulcast/multicast primary statewide radio system to replace its current system. The state’s contract with L3Harris Technologies for the current network, ends on June 30 and the state is currently negotiating with L3Harris to extend that contract while it procures the new network.

The state first began the procurement process for the new network in 2016. In 2018, the Florida DMS awarded a contract to Motorola Solutions. At that time, Harris, which has since merged with L3 Technologies to become L3Harris, protested the award of the contract.

Later in 2018, an administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled in favor of the Florida DMS and recommended that the contract be awarded to Motorola. Harris appealed that decision to a Florida appeals court, which also ruled in favor of the DMS. However, in 2020, contract negotiations between the state and Motorola fell apart and DMS withdrew the award.

After withdrawing the award to Motorola, the Florida DMS began negotiating with L3Harris to extend the contract before it expired and began working to begin a new procurement process for the new network.

In the ITN, the Florida DMS said it plans to the award the contract for the new network to a single vendor but also reserves the right to award more than one vendor for all or parts of the contract.

“DMS issues this ITN for a newly-structured, mission-critical P25 Phase 2 communications service (also supporting P25 Phase 1), resulting in improved coverage, reliability, audio clarity, subscriber units and a support services contract,” the ITN said. “This ITN is intended to establish a multi-year strategic partnership to achieve cost-effective service(s) and long-term value for the state.”

The ITN said that the current SLERS network includes 224 radio, dispatch and microwave tower sites and provides communications to 24,000 users across 22 state public-safety entities and 41 other authorized entities. The current network covers about 98% of the state for mobile and in-vehicle radios and provides coverage up to 25 miles offshore.

The initial term for the new contract will be 10 years, including the transition from the old network to the new network, with an option to renew the contract for another 10 years.

The ITN said that no payments will be made to the selected vendor until the services are tested, accepted and received. The payments will be made on a regional basis as the services are tested, accepted and received in each region, and payments for statewide services will not begin until the full system has been tested, accepted and received.

The deadline for interested parties to submit questions to the procurement officer is March 31. The Florida DMS will then release answers to the questions online by April 20. And then all required documents for the ITN are due May 11.

Find more information on the procurement here.

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