The Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) has prequalified and awarded pre‑negotiated “best offer” specialty acoustics and audio/visual design contracts to Professional Systems Engineering, LLC (PSE) to provide services to Courts, Architects, Interior Designers, Engineers, and even Design/Build Teams for evaluation, design, and installation support of Court Technology Electronic Systems for new construction, upgrades, and replacement of existing systems. These electronic systems may include audio/visual systems, integrated audio and video systems, video conferencing, telephone systems, A/V control, media distribution, low voltage electronic systems, coordinated wiring, and cabling design for all courthouse technology programs. Services include acoustical evaluation and noise and vibration control (N&VC) recommendations.
Many court administrators and design professionals don’t realize the ease with which these pre-approved, federal, pre-negotiated, lowest fixed hourly rate contracts can yield great design, smooth contracting, and minimum risk installation. But more importantly, funding can be approved more rapidly within federally-approved guidelines; ending worries, frustration, contracting issues, contractor failures, or even change orders!
Professional Systems Engineering, LLC currently holds a five-year IDIQ contract with the AOUSC Contract #USCA12D0125. We have been prequalified to provide Court Technology Services for new construction, upgrades, or replacement of existing electronic systems. The design and construction processes are both now streamlined with a 60-100 day design period and under 180 days full construction turnaround with commissioning.
WHO CAN USE THIS CONTRACT
Notwithstanding, while the AOC Federal Courts can use this contract, there are many other government entities that can use pre-certified, FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) approved contracts that are nationally recognized. This means that whether you’re the City of Philadelphia Courts, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Baton Rouge District Court, Arizona Supreme Court, or Virginia Commonwealth Court, your agency may use this federally-structured contract for your purchasing requirements. Call us and we can work out the details with you to affirm the privileges you have in directly contracting, through pre-negotiated, best-offer, pre-approved federal hourly rates for your court project using the best engineered designs.
EVALUATION FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION, UPGRADE OR REPLACEMENT
In addition to providing complete design services for new construction, PSE provides design and evaluation services to address technology that includes:
- Acoustics Reverberation, sound/noise control, and audio and video conferencing issues using sophisticated computer-based, world-class acoustic testing instrumentation.
- Noise Buzzing, hum, hiss, noise, feedback, and intelligibility issues that interfere with listening.
- Technology HDMI video, improved switching capabilities, audio/visual/sound control, and FTR/CourtSmart recording systems integration.
- Teleconferencing Audio, video, and translation that puts “easy” first!
- Infrastructure HDMI and Cat 7 migration to allow even 4K displays the clearest, brightest, and highest resolution possible.
METHOD OF CONTRACTING
The method of contracting is “super-easy” by simple Task Order through the AOC Contracting Officer. And it takes as little as 15 minutes to complete. Yes, 15 minutes! Specific information regarding this procurement method is located on the judicial intranet. Go to: JNET > Facilities & Security > select Facilities > under Resources > select Courtroom Technologies. PSE addresses all questions the Contracting Officer may have regarding the pre-negotiated, “best-offer-hourly-rates” available to all court jurisdictions in requesting our prequalified design services. Following the instructions provided on the JNET, the Contracting Officer will prepare a Task Order request. Before issuing the Task Order request, we urge you to call, email, or respond through our web page contacts. We will walk you step-by-step through this managed and predefined method to improve your court technology. PSE will respond within five days with validated pricing based on negotiated federal rates. After your signed approval, PSE will proceed with the project. The court should assign a Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) to oversee, manage activities, and offer input for establishing the basis of design.
The progress of the project will proceed through the following three standard Task Orders:
- Discovery and Presentation Phase (available on a two-week turnaround emergency basis)
- Design and Documentation Services Phase
- Construction Administration and Closeout Services Phase
WE SELECT ONLY PREQUALIFIED CONTRACTORS
For Federal projects, we deploy only prequalified AOC Contractors/Installers found on JNET. By bidding the project to the prequalified list of contractors the court avoids bid disputes, contracting language disputes, equipment disputes, and any legal or contractual disputes that could delay completion or increase bid costs. No big change orders no big surprises! The federal acquisition world really did improve dramatically.
Utilizing the AOUSC contract process provides a streamlined method of design, construction, and roll-out to Courts, Architects, Interior Designers, Engineers, and even Design/Build Teams of new equipment which easily passes scrutiny for full AOUSC funding.
RECENT COURT EXPERIENCE
PSE has extensive experience providing services under the AOUSC contract, as well as many other non‑federal courts throughout the U.S. including:
- Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Middle District Court audio/visual/video/AV control upgrades Harrisburg, Scranton, and Williamsport, PA.
- Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Western District Court audio/visual/video/AV control upgrades Pittsburgh, PA.
- Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, New Jersey Bankruptcy Court acoustics/N&VC/audio/visual/video/AV control upgrades Trenton, NJ (in process).
- Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Southern Maryland Courthouse audio/visual systems infrastructure upgrades, Greenbelt, MD.
WORKING WITH PSE AND THE AOC
It took us 20 years to get this contract. Yes, 20 years. And, in the years since we’ve had this contract, we’ve heard nothing but refreshing experiences by our Federal clients. They have been pleased with the work of our staff, the ease with which the method of contracting and construction takes place, and the quality of every project.
Our staff explains the simple Task Order requirements, explains the deliverables, how the design will progress, the input and review necessary by the COTR, and the ease with which bids and contracting occurs.
We involve the contractor prior to the first day of construction to make certain that all the equipment is as specified and that controls will be programmed properly. PSE even comes out to commission the system when special acoustical problems need our particular expertise in difficult court settings. We’ve encountered several acoustical anomalies that only our test equipment can pinpoint and correct.
Our reports are clear and identify the exact system failures, performance issues, and needs in a well-documented report that bears scrutiny of the AOC and any technical reviewer for master planning the upgrades of one or many courts. Whether your courtroom expansion is $80,000 or $800,000 our staff members are highly trained and degreed professionals who have significant experience in electronics, bid documentation, and prosecution of work details.
So, who will work on these projects? Chemistry of people, the ability to work alongside court personnel and contractors under the administrative guise of the president judge is a balancing act that our staff handles remarkably well.
Because it takes skill to understand and interpret acoustical measurements, we use Bruel and Kjaer Laboratory testing microphones and automated sound and reverberation test instrumentation. Our staff methodically and deliberately extracts the “bad sound” out and places the important sound “front and center.” Here are short bio’s of a few of our acoustics and A/V staff:
- Jerry Forstater, PE, has been doing audio/visual/video systems for over four decades to courts and lawand brings a wealth of knowledge from acoustics to high-tech audio/visual networking. He is Principal of the firm and a Partner. Mr. Forstater is a graduate engineer from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA. Jerry can be reached by phone at 800.839.5060 x107 or email:
- Michael Michalski, EIT, is a Partner and is the Director of Technology having almost two decades in sound and video knowledge in courts and brings years of specific experience to problem rooms. Mr. Michalski is a graduate engineer from Temple University, PA. Mike can be reached by phone at 800.839.5060 x 105 or email:
- Tim Bergan, CCNP/CCDP, is a Cisco-certified network design professional and network architect who has extremely detailed knowledge of protocols, network requirements, and communications in both digital and analog. He has over a dozen courts in his portfolio. Mr. Bergan is a graduate engineer from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY. Tim can be reached by phone at 800.839.5060 x 113 or email:
- Ryan Hughes is an electronics engineer who has designed multi-integrated systems for massive campus needs, as well as working on AOC federal court projects. Mr. Hughes is a graduate engineer from Drexel University, PA. Ryan can be reached by phone at 800.839.5060 x 100 or email:
We have heard from each court about their frustration and past experience. We have incorporated the AOC method into a 100% reliable design-based bid process that delivers satisfaction. We invite you to call any of the AOC representatives we’ve had contact with to share their experience.