Florida Governor Signs Budget Bill That Includes Network Award to L3Harris
Wednesday, June 09, 2021 | Comments

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved the state’s 2021-2022 budget, which directs the Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) to award a contract for the new Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) to L3Harris without a competitive procurement.

In the legislation implementing the budget, which was also signed by DeSantis, the state legislature said that in order to provide continuity of coverage for public safety in the state, it was critical to move forward with a new network. So the legislature ordered the DMS to award the contract to L3Harris, which operates the current SLERS network. The contract for the current network is set to expire at the end of June.

Motorola Solutions sent a letter to DeSantis asking the governor to line-item veto portions of the appropriations bills related to the network award, arguing that moving forward with a new SLERS network without a competitive procurement process would end in a “bad deal for taxpayers and a dangerous situation for Florida’s first responders.”

DeSantis chose not to line-item veto the portions related to the network when he signed the bills so the award to L3Harris will move forward. Full details on timing of that contract weren’t immediately available.

“L3Harris Technologies commends Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for supporting Florida’s Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 budget today, which includes funding to maintain and upgrade the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS), demonstrating their support for first responders,” L3Harris said in a statement.

Florida first began procuring a new SLERS network in 2016, and after a competitive procurement process awarded a contract to Motorola for the new network. L3Harris protested that award in several Florida courts but lost each challenge. However, in 2020, contract negotiations fell apart between Motorola and the state.

After the contract fell apart, the state began negotiating with L3Harris on a contract extension and also took steps toward a competitive procurement process, including releasing an invitation to negotiate (ITN). The state will now move forward without that competitive process.

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