Lafayette Consolidated Government recently received proposals from 15 companies hoping to land a contract valued at $390,000 for providing GPS monitoring of LCG vehicles. City-Parish President Joey Durel has made equipping hundreds of LCG vehicles with GPS tracking devices a priority in his 2010 budget. Citing examples from other cities, Durel says that closely monitoring city-parish vehicles will result in big fuel and overtime savings.

“We are delighted to have such a large number of proposals to choose from," says LCG Chief Information Officer Keith Thibodeaux. The healthy interest comes despite some concerns expressed by vendors that LCG's request for proposals was full of over-technical requirements and appeared designed to favor a local company.

LCG originally put out the RFP for the contract in August, and received 12 proposals. However, because of some council opposition on the issue, a decision was made to cancel the original RFP and draft a new proposal requiring less of a long-term commitment from LCG.

Randall Man, sales and marketing director for Acadian Monitoring Services, an affiliate of Acadian Ambulance, says the RFP did contain many very specific and technical requirements, but that these did not favor a local vendor. In fact, Mann says Acadian Monitoring had to scramble and switch equipment providers in order to be able meet all the feature demands of the RFP by deadline.

"As a taxpayer in Lafayette, I'm actually impressed at how rigorous and thorough the RFP was," he says. "It was so all-encompassing, it really made it tough. Anyone that thought it was written for us or anybody else local didn't go through the week and a half of sweating and pulling out the hair I have remaining to find the system that would make it work. "

In addition to Acadian Monitoring, other local vendors bidding on the contract include Vehicle Tracking Solutions, Centennial Wireless and Data GPS of Lafayette and Louisiana Radio out of Lake Charles. Thibodeaux says LCG has appointed an "all-star" six-person review committee from different LCG departments to comb through the proposals and make a recommendation to Durel. Because of the high number of applicants, Thibodeaux expects this process to take at least two more weeks.

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