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Letter -- Protest Response 6-9-2008


									                                       Horry County Schools

June 10, 2008

Mr. Joseph Thomas, President
A3 Communications
1038 Kinley Road, Building B
Irmo, SC 29063

RE:    Solicitation 0708-65
       For IP Mega Pixel Cameras
       Response to Protest Received May 28, 2008

Dear Mr. Thomas:

In response to your protest letter of May 21, 2008, received on May 28, 2008, following is my

1) “A3 Communications’ submittal for the first line item – indoor tamper proof megapixel camera,
Axis Model 216MFD has a unit price of $599.25 each. Therefore, we protest the award of the indoor
Panasonic camera to MB Communications for $619.00 each based on the fact that the Axis camera
meets or exceeds the stated specifications at a lower price. Thus, awarding the indoor cameras to
A3 Communications would save the District $10,665.”

RESPONSE: Question 1 of Addendum No. 1 to the solicitation asked: “Do the indoor and outdoor
cameras both need to be vandal resistant or just the indoor?” The response was: “Both would be
preferred.” After bids were received, your bid indicated a cost of $636.75 for the vandal-proof Axis
216MFD-V. The Panasonic 302 camera submitted by MB Communications included the vandal-
proof option, as preferred, at the stated bid price of $619.00. Thus the total cost for MB
communication was $191,890 compared to the total cost of $197,392.50 submitted by A3.

However, as you referenced in your background information, Item 10 of the GENERAL BID
CONDITIONS of the solicitation states: “The District reserves the right to select and award on an
individual item basis, lot (group) basis or an “all or none” basis, whichever the District determines to
be most advantageous.” Because the District reserves the right to award by individual item or lot
(group) as opposed to a consolidated award, it does not give rise to a mandate on the part of the
District to award by item or lot. The determination of how the award will be made is at the sole
discretion of the District as other considerations may factor into the final determination in addition to
price. (For example: delivery time frame, local repair location, compatibility of equipment, suitability
of equipment, adaptability, etc. may be important considerations.)

  1605 Horry Street (29527), P.O. Box 260005, Conway, SC 29528-6005   Telephone: 843-488-6930   Fax: 843-488-6945
                                                      Response to Protest Received May 28, 2008, Page 2

2) “A3 Communications’ price for Milestone Software, including all necessary site licensing and
individual camera licensing, also include OPTIONAL 1-year product maintenance agreements is
$104,280.00. Therefore, we protest the award of the Milestone software to MB Communications at
a price of $112,757.00 based on the fact that we have offered the same product at a lower price,
which would save the District almost $8,500.00. . . .”

RESPONSE: Once again, the District does not have a mandate to purchase on a line-item basis
and can award the contract based on the total cost to the District. The full cost to the District for the
cameras and software from MB Communication is $487,304.75 and the full cost from A3
Communications is $525,637.50 including sales tax – a difference of $38,332.75.

However, the District has since determined that another option regarding this software may be more
advantageous to the District; therefore, the District is exercising its right not to purchase the software
at this time.

3) A3 Communications’ price for the outdoor camera . . . . . .

RESPONSE: This was merely a series of statements about the features of the Axis camera and
requires no response.

4) “Based on our technical research, we believe the Panasonic cameras submitted by MB
Communications do not meet the specifications; therefore the awarded vendor is unresponsive
(please see Solicitation Item 36 – SPECIFICATIONS under General Conditions) and their cameras
should be eliminated from consideration.”

RESPONSE: Item 10 of the SPECIAL BID CONDITIONS states “Specifications provided in bid
document are listed to provide a sample of the type camera we are seeking. The District reserves
the right to review all specifications submitted and determine what is acceptable to the District.” Item
22 of the GENERAL BID CONDITIONS allows Bidders to submit an alternate product for
consideration. The District reviewed the specifications for the Panasonic cameras and determined
that the specifications met our “standards for acceptance” stated in that paragraph. A demo of the
Panasonic camera was provided and all District employees present for the demo agreed that the
cameras offered by MB Communication meet the District’s needs.


Based upon my review, the District will proceed with the purchase of the 540 cameras (excluding
software) at a cost of $366,517.80, including tax, from MB Communications. The software will be
bid separately using funds available in our 2008-2009 fiscal year beginning July 1st.

This determination is final and conclusive, unless determined to be fraudulent, or unless A3
Communications requests a further administrative review by the District’s Procurement Review
Panel. Any request for a further review must be addressed to Mr. Jeffrey S. Riddle, Chief Officer of
Finance and Human Resources, and mailed to me at PO Box 260005, Conway, SC 29528-6005
within ten (10) calendar days from the date first listed above. Please be aware that your request for
review cannot introduce any new issues other than those stated above, and you may be required to
post a protest bond equal to one percent (1%) of the disputed amount.

  1605 Horry Street (29527), P.O. Box 260005, Conway, SC 29528-6005   Telephone: 843-488-6930   Fax: 843-488-6945
                                                         Response to Protest Received May 28, 2008, Page 3

The District appreciates the bid submitted by A3 Communications for these cameras and we look
forward to your response to future solicitations.


Sheila R. Burgoyne, CPPB
Director of Procurement Services

C:        Mr. Jeffrey S. Riddle, Chief Officer of Finance & Human Resources, Horry County Schools
          Mr. John Gardner, Executive Director of Finance, Horry County Schools
          Mr. Sam Hocutt, Sales Manager, MB Communications 448-2005

     1605 Horry Street (29527), P.O. Box 260005, Conway, SC 29528-6005   Telephone: 843-488-6930   Fax: 843-488-6945

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