Government, vendors giving each other a raw deal

Vendors are facing an uphill battle when competing for government tenders as bureaucratic and political obstacles continue to make the process more cumbersome than necessary, analysts believe.

Vendors are facing an uphill battle when competing for government tenders as bureaucratic and political obstacles continue to make the process more cumbersome than necessary, analysts believe.

Speaking at the Gartner Symposium yesterday, Richard Harris, VP and research director for the analysis firm described the government IT sector as being at a "crucial junction".

According to the analyst house 70 percent of whole-of-government integrations will fail by 2010, with Harris saying "too many small to medium departments have been forced into solutions that don't suit them".

"Government can't be taken as one sector or approached with a one-size-fits-all mindset; it needs to be considered as a distinct set of vertical industries," Harris continued.

He advised vendors that a broader outlook is needed in their responses to Requests For Tender (RFT), saying they should take into account the social and policy outcomes for each relevant project, as opposed to limiting their scope to meeting its technical needs. On the government side Harris said that the RFT evaluations process needs to become less rigid, and departments must take it upon themselves to be more proactive when selecting a vendor.

Gartner principal research analyst Derry Finkeldey said: "Procurement processes will remain a challenge, despite some government departments taking measures to streamline evaluations."

Harris believes that departments are capable of fast-tracking their evaluations when necessary, saying that when an initiative or project is politically rather than bureaucratically driven "things will tend to move forward".

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