Much of the AV industry can sum up the month of June can in one word—InfoComm15. For AV professionals working in the Government sector, there’s another word that’s been on their minds about the month of June and equally as big a show: Year-End.
Unlike the private sector, the fiscal year calendar for most local, county, and state governments runs from July 1st through June 30th at midnight. This presents a unique set of challenges for owners and end-users, as well as the AV vendors performing any AV systems integration work at year-end. Often, long-delayed projects are given a green light and half the project timeline to complete to the business and technical requirements, as well as, the fiscal procurement process.
If not addressed properly, the following three hazards can greatly impact your ability to move forward and complete the AV project to deliver a high-quality, efficient, and cost-effective solution.
On average, client and technical needs assessment, budget cost estimating, and the policy of following public competitive bidding can take up to six to eight months. Given the compressed three to four month schedule typical of year-end projects, owners should start performing several months in advance as much legwork and documentation possible to be ready to move when funding sources being identified.
Where’s The Scope of Work?
The Scope of Work (SOW) for any project is critical to ensure the final installation meet the expectations and outcomes of the stakeholders and end-users. Often, the SOW put out to potential bidders is lacking many important details such as functionality, equipment needs, and general direction on the projects intended outcome. Owners can find many examples of quality RFP project and procurement documentation, including a detailed SOW, online or through other agencies. Any confusion or misinterpretation between the owner and AV vendor of SOW can result in schedule delay and increased costs due to budget policies restrictions on allocated funding only being available through the current year-end.
No Bleeding Edges
An important aspect of all government projects at any point during the year is the limitations on the features and specifications of AV equipment that can be installed in government projects and is considered best practices. Government agencies avoid installing cutting-edge or beta-version equipment and features. This is due to the spaces and environment where AV equipment is installed performs a type of political, legal, financial, health, or public safety function, which cannot withstand frequent equipment software/hardware failures or service interruptions.