lmait(shankar-aggarwal)With a view to streamline and standardize government procurement processes and address the challenges faced by the IT industry, Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) in partnership with Department of Electronics and Information Technology and Accenture as knowledge partner, organised a Sensitization Workshop on Model RFPs (Request for Proposal), which had been prepared by DeitY for selection of consultants, system integrators and PPP operators for e-Governance projects.

At the workshop, the industry body shared its experience in e-Governance and raised challenges being faced by industry in executing such projects. IT Secretaries from northern states in India highlighted their experience on e-Governance projects.

Speaking during the discussion, Shankar Aggarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defense, said, “This forum gives us an opportunity to look seriously into all the procurement issues and find out ways and means on how they can be effectively addressed. Decision making is the major challenge that the government is facing today and the need of the hour is to attain efficiency and transparency in our processes.”

This gathering was the first of its kind wherein the Government IT Heads formally partnered with an industry association to understand and strengthen procurement mechanisms and also create larger awareness on Model RFPs.  It created an enabling platform for key stakeholders from the government and industry captains from the top IT companies of India to interact on ways of strengthening IT procurement processes. 

“The creation of Model RFPs was  a very innovative initiative undertaken by DeitY to bring uniformity based on standardization and serve as a guideline for the Department to facilitate procurement of IT based services” Said, Dr. Rajendra Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology. He also appealed to various State IT decision makers for using the Model RFP Toolkit to streamline the IT procurement in their individual states”

Industry raised its concern around operational and contractual issues such as Exit Management, Bid Participation Terms, Payment Terms, Variation in Taxes and exchange rates, Limitation of Liability, ERV Clause among others and suggested that the Model RFP should also address these issues. A suggestion was also made to have an e-procurement board combining both industry representatives as well as government officials.

Speaking on the occasion, Anwar Shirpurwala, Executive Director, MAIT, said “We are honoured to offer a platform wherein industry and government can share their views on Model RFPs. Both the sides, namely, industry and government greatly value the merits and significance of the tool. However a lot more can be achieved and MAIT is committed to work towards ensuring that RFPs focus on – Standardization in procurement, better transparency and participation by all stakeholders in the entire process.”

Such Sensitisation Workshops shall be carried out across India. This would facilitate inputs from several state governments as well as the larger industry on how Model RFPs itself can be further strengthened.

Anwar further said “Through these workshops, we would like to reach out to all states in the form of their IT secretaries, State e-governance Mission Teams and other government procuring organisations.  

This was an important event for State IT decision makers as it served as a platform to share and highlight the issues being faced by them in implementing e-Governance projects over the last few years. Jiwesh Nandan, Principal Secretary – IT Electronics, Govt. of UP, Vivek Attray, Additional Secretary to Govt. of Haryana, Rajneesh Malhotra, Head – State e-Governance Mission Team, Punjab and others graced the event and addressed the issues & challenges for e-Governance projects.

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