Ensure that team members clearly understand contractual systems to facilitate a public/private project.

Institutional lessons from a test of a wide-area network to communicate traffic conditions in the Seattle area.

Seattle,Washington,United States

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Lesson Learned

During the SWIFT project, a number of institutional issues were encountered that affected the deployment of project. One set of issues related to limitations in the equipment procurement process and a lack of understanding about the overall contracting process. Lessons learned were as follows:
  • Define the procurement and acquisition processes to facilitate, not hinder, ITS deployments. An ill-defined procurement process may have contributed to problems during the SWIFT project, such as the acquisition of computers unsuitable for the project. This cost the SWIFT project some time and money that could have been used for better purposes. Strong leadership may have helped avoid getting entangled in this kind of problem. In addition, it would have been helpful to clarify the goals of certain activities to minimize other, “unproductive” activities . Development of detailed proposals or plans from the very beginning would have minimized the chance of acquiring unsuitable equipment later in the project.
  • Clarify government contracting and auditing requirements for private sector ITS partnership team members. Providing examples, in advance, of different types of contracts and advance information about contract and auditing issues would have facilitated the negotiation process between public and private organizations. Instead, the project experienced “phased deployment” because contract problems resulted in different ITS devices being available for deployment at different times.

Both procurement and contracting concerns delayed SWIFT. Ensuring that all public and private team members were provided with information about ITS agreements in advance would have reduced delay. Similarly, defining project goals early in the process would have helped guide the procurement of devices suitable for the project.

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Seattle Wide-area Information For Travelers, Institutional Issues Study

Author: Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

Published By: Washington State Department of Transportation

Source Date: 10/19/1998

EDL Number: 7404

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/2660

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Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Edward McCormack
Washington State Transportation Center

Agency Contact(s):

Larry Senn
Washington State Department of Transportation

Lesson Analyst:

Firoz Kabir


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United States

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Lesson ID: 2005-00117