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City Council Report

 

City Council Meeting: December 16, 2014

                                                                                                  Agenda Item:  3-H

To:               Mayor and City Council 

 

From:           Scott Ferguson, Fire Chief

 

Subject:        Reject Proposals for an Expandable Training Facility for Fire Department

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council:

Reject all proposals for RFP #9-22-2014 received on October 20, 2014 for an Expandable Training Facility for Fire Department.

 

Executive Summary

On October 20, 2014, the City received two proposals for the purchase, delivery and installation of one new modular detachable Urban Search and Rescue and Hazardous Materials Training Facility for the Fire Department Training Center. After further consideration of the proposals received, staff became aware that the specifications set forth in RFP #9-22-2014 were inconsistent with the zoning for the proposed location of the facility.  Staff recommends rejecting all proposals for RFP #9-22-2014 due to the fact the facility, as specified, cannot be permitted at its proposed location.

 

Background

The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program focuses on enhancing regional preparedness in major metropolitan areas. The UASI program directly supports the national priority of expanding regional collaboration within the national preparedness guidelines and is intended to assist participating jurisdictions in developing integrated regional systems for prevention, protection, response, and recovery from natural or man-made disasters.

 

The UASI grant program was created to support large, “core” cities and those other cities with borders contiguous to core cities. The UASI grant program is 100% federally funded from the Department of Homeland Security to the State of California. The City of

Los Angeles acts as the core city for the UASI grant and allots funds to the City of Santa Monica.  These funds have been used to purchase necessary equipment, supplies, and training in direct support of overall regional goals to promote effective information gathering, sharing, and response to threats and/or acts of terrorism.

 

The City is authorized to receive funds from the City of Los Angeles through subrecipient agreements that allow the City to purchase necessary equipment, supplies, and training in direct support of overall regional goals to promote effective information gathering, sharing, and response to threats and/or acts of terrorism. 

 

Discussion

As part of the ongoing UASI grant program, the City of Los Angeles awarded funds to the City of Santa Monica Fire Department for the project years 2013 and 2014. Over the course of these two project performance periods, funds were specifically earmarked for props and equipment for the development of a training satellite site in Santa Monica that would support regional homeland security goals.   UASI grant funds carry specific spending and performance deadlines that must be met in order for a project to qualify for the funds.  The deadline in this case is March 31, 2015, requiring the prop to be delivered by March 15, 2015.

 

The Fire Department received approval to purchase one modular detachable Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and Hazardous Materials (HazMat) expandable training facility with a portion of these funds. On September 22, 2014, the City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to furnish and deliver the facility according to specifications developed by a training technical working committee, comprised of Fire Department personnel. The RFP was posted on the City's on-line bidding site, and notices were advertised in the Santa Monica Daily Press in accordance with City Charter and Municipal Code provisions. Seven hundred forty-one vendors were notified, 36 vendors downloaded the RFP, and two firms responded: Kirila Fire and Fireblast Global. A selection panel of staff from the Finance and Fire departments reviewed the responses. Staff then interviewed both firms. Upon evaluation of the two bids, the City determined that Kirila Fire submitted the only responsive bid. Kirila Fire was the only vendor able to guarantee the delivery date, which was listed as a mandatory requirement in the RFP. Kirila Fire also met all criteria with the ability to meet the technical specifications, price, product availability and delivery schedule, selection, references, quality of material, and compliance with City specifications.

 

Protest

On November 12, 2014, City staff posted a pending award notification on the City’s online bidding site, putting all bidders on notice that staff’s recommendation to Council would be to award RFP#9-22-2014 to Kirila Fire. On November 13, 2014, the City’s Purchasing Agent received a timely protest from Fireblast Global. Fireblast Global’s primary contentions were that Kirila Fire was not qualified and could not meet the specified certifications required in the RFP.

 

On November 17, 2014, after review of the protest documentation submitted, and speaking with Fire staff who had conducted the bid review and selection process, the Purchasing Agent denied the protest based on lack of evidence and grounds for protest. The Purchasing Agent found that the City properly determined that only one bid was responsive since Kirila was the only vendor able to guarantee the delivery date, which was listed as a mandatory requirement in the RFP. The Purchasing Agent also found no evidence to support the contention that Kirila was not qualified.

 

On November 21, 2014, the City’s Director of Finance received a timely appeal to the denial of the protest.  The staff report for the recommended award was pulled from the November 25, 2014 Council meeting agenda to allow the City to evaluate and respond to the appeal.  On December 2, 2014, after review of the appeal documentation, the Director of Finance denied the appeal. The Director of Finance determined that no evidence was presented to support the protestor’s contentions that Kirila was not qualified.    

 

While the protest was being considered, staff reevaluated the project and determined that the City's specifications are inconsistent with the zoning for the proposed location of the facility. Due to this inconsistency, the facility cannot be permitted at the proposed location without protracted variance proceedings that would delay the delivery of the Expandable Training Facility beyond the due date set by the Federal Government for the grant funds. Based on that determination, staff recommends that Council reject all proposals for the Expandable Training Facility.

 

Next Steps

Staff is reevaluating the overall spending plan for the 2013 and 2014 UASI grant years.  Staff is working closely with the City of Los Angeles to investigate other projects as part of the larger spending plan and will return to Council with any new contractual awards or purchasing agreements based on a revised spending plan.  Staff will also return to Council with amendments to the Subrecipient Agreements the City previously entered into with the City of Los Angeles for the 2013 and 2014 grant years, as necessary.

 

Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

There is no immediate financial impact or budget action necessary as a result of the recommended action.

 

Prepared by: Terese Toomey, Principal Administrative Analyst

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

Scott Ferguson

Fire Chief

 

Rod Gould

City Manager