the factors: price, functionality, project experience and corporate capabilities. In fact, it represented not the least cost solution, but the least risk.

All technical proposals were evaluated by an Evaluation Committee made up of qualified personnel including the Acceptance Testing Group and the project manager. For those proposals satisfying all of the mandatory requirements, the committee evaluated and numerically scored each proposal in accordance with the evaluation criteria described in the RFP. Pricing proposals were evaluated by a separate financial group. The committee arrived at a short-list of the top proponents, and presented those results to the project manager for review and approval. Only two suppliers were on the short-list.

Those two suppliers were scheduled for a structured oral presentation combined with field tests of their equipment. Proponents were then required to deliver their equipment to police representatives who evaluated all its technical and operational aspects. Five days were required to complete the evaluation under different road conditions.

The purpose of field tests was to permit the evaluators to identify the ease of use, ease of set-up, quality of the pictures and other indicators of the quality and functionality of their equipment and systems. At the end of the field tests, the evaluation of the two short-listed proponents was completed and the winner selected. All results of the evaluation process were extensively documented to ensure the integrity of the process and to survive public scrutiny.

Michael Asner wrote the RFP described in this article. He is also

the author of "The Request For Proposal Handbook," available from Government Technology by calling Gloria Leacox at 916/932-1300. Asner can be reached at 604/530-7881; e-mail at <>.