Turn your heads to model RFP

Sensitisation workshop by MAIT steers industries and government to look at model RFPs, designed three years ago but forgotten

shivangi-narayan

Shivangi Narayan | January 29, 2014



The department of electronics and IT (DeitY) designed a model request for proposal (RFP) document in 2010 to serve as a guiding light for all departments in their tendering process. However, it has been three years and counting and major government departments including the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has not even heard about it.

Lack of standards in specification leads to various confusions in the tendering and the project implementation stages due to which projects never get completed. According to Shankar Aggarwal, additional secretary, ministry of defence, India could have achieved 10 percent growth if technology could have been used to take decisions. “Improving the decision making process is amongst the biggest challenges in the government. We have failed in using information technology (IT) for doing so,” he said.

Aggarwal was speaking at sensitisation workshop for model RFPs organised by the Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT) here on Wednesday. The workshop is being held in three stages to increase awareness about model RFP and using them for project tendering processes.

An RFP is one of the most important documents in the government tendering process. It is the first document from the consumer (the government) enlisting its requirements, methodologies and payments for the projects. A detailed and carefully thought out RFP can greatly advantage the project by delineating roles and responsibilities of all the parties involved in the project. Aggarwal spoke about several projects in various departments, which have been languishing from several years because of lack of understanding between vendor and government. According to him, IT projects were especially affected due to lack of IT knowledge in various departments.

“Some of these IT projects were vendor driven and some tech driven. Departments couldn’t take decisions on the latter due to lack of tech knowledge. This is even the case in defence,” he said. Therefore model RFP creation is important, he added. Aggarwal stressed on decision-making and said that it needed to be time bound.

“We need to use technology to ensure time bound decision making. It should also lead to 100 percent transparency in project implementation,” he said. He added that if the project implementation is not transparent, it leads to several allegations from parties involved in it. “The re-examination to investigate these allegations could take years which again delays projects,” he said.

The additional secretary stressed on the need to encourage domestic manufacturing companies and cyber security clauses in RFPs. “All big companies bag all projects and then exploit smaller companies; we need to check on that. Also, looking at the rising cyber threat in the world, cyber security should be taken care at the RFP stage itself,” Aggarwal said.

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