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MANAGING THE RISKS - You Begin: Do Your Homework .....53 The Problem.....54 Your Consulting...

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  • Draft Copy For Review Only

    MANAGING THE RISKS

    A Guide for Improving RFP and Procurement Practises

    In Justice Technology Acquisitions

  • Draft Copy For Review Only

    Table of Contents

    Overview. How This Handbook Can Help Your Agency ......................................................... 1Chapter by Chapter: What You Will Find in This Handbook......................................................... 1

    Chapter 1. Introduction............................................................................................................... 3Benefits and Risks in Information Technology Acquisition........................................................... 3Available Acquisition Strategies..................................................................................................... 4

    Sole Source.......................................................................................................................... 5Request for Information ...................................................................................................... 5Request for Quotation ......................................................................................................... 6Request for Proposal ........................................................................................................... 6Other Options ...................................................................................................................... 7

    Bulletproof Your Process ................................................................................................................ 7

    Chapter 2. The RFP Process ....................................................................................................... 9A Process? A Document? What Is an RFP? ................................................................................... 9Why Use an RFP? ........................................................................................................................... 9When Is an RFP Used? ................................................................................................................. 10Design Your RFP Process ............................................................................................................. 11

    Recognize Potential Problem Areas.................................................................................. 12Provide Sufficient Time to Do a Good Job ....................................................................... 14Mile Markers on the RFP Road: A Process Outline ........................................................ 15

    Assemble Your Technology Team and Assign Duties ......................................... 16Plan the Project...................................................................................................... 16Research Procurement Strategies .......................................................................... 17Write the RFP........................................................................................................ 17Review and Release the RFP ................................................................................ 18Hold a Vendor Meeting......................................................................................... 19Accept the Proposals ............................................................................................. 20Evaluate the Proposals .......................................................................................... 20Select a Vendor and Finalize the Contract ............................................................ 22

    Selected Timelines from Sample RFP Processes.............................................................. 22

    Chapter 3. The RFP Document.................................................................................................. 27How Much Information Goes Into the RFP Document? .............................................................. 27Basic Structure of an RFP ............................................................................................................. 29

    Purpose/Ground Rules....................................................................................................... 29System Requirements........................................................................................................ 29Evaluation Criteria ............................................................................................................ 29Proposal Format ................................................................................................................ 31

    What Kinds of Information Should Go into the RFP Document? ................................................ 32Sample Tables of Contents............................................................................................................ 32

    Example Law Enforcement Support Agency............................................................... 33Example Little Rock Police Department: Police Information Systems

    Expansion.............................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.RFP Template ............................................................................................................................... 37

  • ii

    Chapter 4. Using and Choosing Consultants........................................................................... 51When Should You Use a Consultant? ........................................................................................... 52A Good Consultant Brings Value to the Process .......................................................................... 52What Consultants Can and Cannot Help You Accomplish........................................................... 53Choosing Consultants: Guidelines and Suggested Process........................................................... 53

    Before You Begin: Do Your Homework .......................................................................... 53The Problem .......................................................................................................... 54Your Consulting Needs ......................................................................................... 54

    Finding Good Consultants................................................................................................. 55Qualifications Requirements ......................................................................................................... 55Know the Ties That Bind You ...................................................................................................... 55Do You Need to Issue an RFP to Hire a Consultant? ................................................................... 56Check References.......................................................................................................................... 56

    Chapter 5. Summary.................................................................................................................. 57

  • iii

    Acknowledgements

    This handbook was prepared as part of the Technology Acquisition Projectadministered by the Institute for Law and Justice in partnership with the Center for DigitalGovernment and funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), U.S. Department of Justice.The NIJ project monitor is Phyllis McDonald. The handbook was prepared by RaymondDussault, Center for Digital Government. Other reviewers and contributors included StevePendleton, Information Analytics, Inc.; and Tom McEwen, Randall Guynes, and Julie Wartell,Institute for Law and Justice. The handbook should be considered a draft pending NIJ review.

    Several sections of this handbook are based on and contain text from The Request ForProposal Handbook, Second Edition, 1999. The material has been included with permission ofMichael Asner Consulting, the copyright holder.

    An RFP Template in Chapter 3 originally appeared in The RFP Report, May 1998, andis included with permission of Michael Asner Consulting, the copyright holder.

    This project was supported by Grant No. 98-LB-VX-K0

  • Draft Copy For Review Only

    11 awarded to the Institute for Law and Justice by the National Institute of Justice, Office of JusticePrograms, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do notnecessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

    OverviewHow This Handbook Can Help Your Agency

    The Request for Proposal (RFP) process is highly effective when used to acquire complexinformation technology systems and services. It differs from a bid or request for quotation in thatthe RFP describes the problem that the buyer is trying to solve. RFPs are used regularly forprojects that involve complex technology systems, installation, training, and other services.They are almost always used when the desired solution is not available as an off-the-shelfproduct, especially when the basis for selection will be made on more than just cost. In manypublic agencies, especially in those jurisdictions governed by state and local procurement laws,the RFP process must be used for large technology system purchases.

    When used correctly, an RFP sets the stage for a successful technology project. The RFP shouldclearly communicate to vendors the buyer's present and future technology needs; their installedtechnology base; financial, political, and other limitations; and the buyer's expectations for theperformance of the vendor and the proposed solution. This handbook is intended to help lawenforcement purchasers understand how to use an RFP to communicate effectively with vendorsand begin the process of developing shared expectations for the project. It provides instructionso

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