Sita reopens tender options amid complaints

JOHANNESBURG (03/18/2004) - The South Africa State Information Technology Agency (Sita) has opted to reopen the Outright Purchase Option (OPO) of SEAT management services to the public sector amid complaints from BEE and SME contenders.

The tender, which is only two months old, was published in conjunction with the Government Information Technology Officers' Council (GITOC). The tender had three components to it, namely OPO, Lease Purchase Option (LPO) as well as the provision of services.

The OPO of the tender specifically cites OEMs as primary bidders with the view to securing best and consistent pricing throughout the public sector. Apparently strong objections have been received from BEE and SME vendor companies, who have argued that the stipulation places them at a big disadvantage.

They further argue that this arrangement would not necessarily help GITOC and Sita to achieve the best price objective, as there are instances where distributors have offered better prices than the OEMs.

For what both organizations have termed as an interest in transparency, Sita has reopened the OPO portion of the tender. All interested bidders have been given 28 days within which to submit their tenders.

Although he declines to reveal actual amounts, Sita CEO, Mavuso Msimang, says that the OPO portion of the tender is worth a large portion of the entire tender.

He adds that, even with the complaints that came from BEE companies, there is a clause in the tender document that stipulates that BEE partners should be included in the entire value chain.

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