Singapore SOE tender award on schedule?

No confirmation if bid results of Standard ICT Operating Environment project will be unveiled by Oct. 10, but industry talk indicate it may be delayed.
Written by Lynn Tan @ Redhat, Contributor

update SINGAPORE--Whether the Singapore government is ready to award in October the tender for the highly anticipated Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) project is anyone's guess.

Industry rumblings hint that the award of the SOE project bid may be delayed yet again, but the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) was unable to confirm this.

When contacted by ZDNet Asia, an IDA spokesperson declined to confirm if the SOE tender award is on track to be revealed next month, noting only that there are currently no updates and submitted bid proposals are under evaluation.

The SOE project was originally expected to be awarded by early-2007, with deployment work to start by the middle of the year, but the timeline for the contract award was later revised.

According to an "="" href="http://www.ida.gov.sg/doc/News%20and%20Events/News_and_Events_Level2/20070426082302/SOE26Apr07.pdf" class="c-regularLink" rel="noopener nofollow">IDA statement, the tender results were rescheduled for announcement by Oct. 10 this year, with full implementation of the SOE project expected by the end of 2010.

Responding to ZDNet Asia's query on the possibility of a delay, a spokesperson from NEC Solutions Asia-Pacific said: "We are all keen to hear the outcome but we also understand IDA's position if there is a delay in announcing a 'winner'.

"SOE is a complex project that cannot be rushed; it is thus obvious that IDA is trying to understand all aspects of the proposals submitted," the spokesperson said. NEC leads a consortium that is bidding for the SOE tender.

Another contender, NCS--part of the One Team consortium--declined comment, noting only that it has yet to receive any updates from the IDA.

The other two consortia, encompassing Singapore Computer Systems (SCS) and Hewlett-Packard, did not respond at press time.

First announced in April 2005, the SOE project aims to create a common government infocomm infrastructure to enhance operational efficiency and reduce government IT spending by 30 percent. The project will involve the standardization of desktop, messaging and network environment across public sector agencies in the island-state, with the exception of the Ministry of Defense.

The SOE project, estimated to be worth no more than S$1.5 billion (US$918.3 million) over eight years, underwent a two-stage selective tendering process.

The first phase of the tender commenced in December 2005, and interested bidders were put through a pre-qualification round which assessed criteria such as financial capability, expertise and deployment track record.

Subsequently, four consortia were shortlisted for the next phase: One Meridian, led by Electronic Data Systems and SCS; One Team, led by NCS and IBM; NexGenea, led by NEC and CSC Computer Sciences; and InSpire, led by HP Singapore and Singapore Technologies Electronics.

IDA, which manages the procurement and deployment of technology for the country's major government bodies, announced earlier this month that it will have a new chief in November. Current IDA CEO Chan Yeng Kit will hand over the reins to Ronnie Tay from Nov. 19 this year.

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