Sita tender winners named

By   |  February 23, 2006

The winners of the State IT Agency’s (Sita) open source tender have been decided.
Business Connexion, Gijima, Choice Technologies, IBM, ImpiLinux, Novell, Obsidian Systems and Sourcecom have been selected to be the suppliers of open source software and support services to the government and Sita over the next three years.

Project manager for open source at Sita, Wynand Swart, told Tectonic today that he has a signed formal letter from the Supplier Selection Authority awarding the tender to the eight companies.

Government departments can now “exercise an option to procure from any one of these [companies]”, says Swart, adding that he did not know when companies would see the first contracts as a result of the tender.

The news comes after months of anticipation and speculation. Last week, the Supplier Selection Authority (SSA) – the highest authority in the tender selection process – decided to award the tender, after an evaluation process that stretched over five months.

Swart says six members in a technical team had to work through thousands of pages of documents submitted by the tenderers, before submitting their reports to the Supplier Selection Board, who finally submitted their recommendation to the SSA. “The technical evaluation was quite a strenuous exercise,” he says.

Swart says three distributions were selected: Suse, RedHat and Impi/Ubuntu.

He says he believed the winners had been notified, although he notes that the procurement arm might still be in the process of delivering the letters of award. When contacted for comment, some companies who have been listed as winners said they had not received notification themselves and declined to comment.

Submissions for the tender closed in October last year, with at least 12 technology companies vying to be placed on the preferred suppliers list. The tender gives the government the option “of deploying OSS solutions where and when required” during a “phased migration process” according to the tender document.

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