MSD evaluates web submission for digitisation project

Request reveals new tender track

The Ministry of Social Development is planning to digitise the many paper documents in its operation and has issued a request for for digitising services and equipment.

At the same time, it is using a more fully digital method for accepting such proposals.

Bidders are told to access the RFP documentation by setting up an account with the Australian website of eValua and to submit their proposals through the same site. MSD’s use of eValua is still in the trial phase, says MSD manager of information strategy, Barry Fisk.

“The eValua tool is being trialled due to its advanced features and a more robust tender evaluation module,” he says. The digitisation RFP represents the third time MSD has used eValua.

“Currently there are no New Zealand-based alternatives to eValua that provide end-to-end services, but we are still reviewing and investigating other alternatives,” says Fisk. “It’s believed a New Zealand company may introduce a similar product in the near future.”

A decision on which evaluation tool MSD will adopt won’t be made until next year, he says.

The Canberra-based eValua web service offers MSD users and tender respondents several advantages, Fisk says. “It is a fully featured, electronic tender management and evaluation service. It provides an online tender box allowing respondents to submit their proposals securely.

“This means respondents do not need to print, collate and courier responses to MSD, which also supports our sustainability polices of reducing paper and carbon.”

Online submission also means respondents can work right up until the tender closes to submit their responses. This in turn increases accessibility to overseas respondents.

The online responses can be accessed from any secure MSD computer, Fisk says, allowing evaluators to access the information from different locations in New Zealand and complete the evaluation online.

The digitisation project will include the supply of multi-functional devices — scanner-printers — as well as necessary software and services.

It will initially be delivered to the MSD’s Work and Income frontline offices, says the RFP, “but must then be able to be expanded across all MSD sites.”

Digitisation will improve the department’s ability to store and access information on clients, Fisk says. Work and Income has over 340,000 clients with a paper file containing critical information about each of them, including identification, application forms and other supporting documents.

“Digitising means clients will not have to produce their documents every time they come into an office.

“Work and Income finished trialling scanning software in five service centres last week to see how we can improve our service to clients.

“We’re now evaluating the trial to see how we roll out the digitisation to other sites.”

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