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New round of tenders invited for supply of IT professional services to government departments
     The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) is introducing new measures in its new round of tenders for provision of professional services under the Standing Offer Agreement for Quality Professional Services (SOA-QPS) scheme. The measures aim to facilitate participation by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and attract more creative solutions in government information technology (IT) projects.

     "There are many significant enhancements in the new arrangement to foster the development of the local IT industry in the coming SOA-QPS scheme. They include raising the financial limit of contract value of work assignments to allow bigger government contracts to be awarded through this scheme, increasing the number of standing offer agreement contractors to include more players from the industry, lowering the essential requirements for tendering to attract more SMEs to bid, and putting more emphasis on the technical aspect in the assessment of work assignments to put an emphasis on innovation," a spokesman for the OGCIO said today (December 23). With the new measures, more suppliers can work with the Government to create and deliver quality IT solutions, as well as promote innovation, open up business opportunities, and bring more convenience to the public.

     The business opportunities for the contractors are greatly enlarged, with a total estimated contract value of over $1.5 billion for four years, representing over 30 per cent growth from current contracts. The SOA-QPS covers four categories of IT services:

(1) pre-implementation and independent programme/project management services;
(2) ongoing services;
(3) implementation and combined system development services; and
(4) information security and independent testing services.

     Categories 2 and 3 are further divided into Major and Minor Groups.

     "The financial limit of contract value is significantly raised by 50 per cent from $10 million to $15 million, enabling expanded use of the SOA-QPS scheme to procure IT services in the Government. As for the two Minor Groups under Categories 2 and 3 which are established primarily to facilitate participation by SMEs, the financial limit has also been increased twofold from $1.43 million to $3 million, so that SMEs can participate in government projects of higher value," the spokesman added.

     Currently, there are 68 standing offer agreements from 42 contractors awarded in the four categories. In the new tendering exercise, the Government aims to embrace more contractors in the SOA-QPS scheme and increase the number of standing offer agreements to a maximum of about 90. The new standing offer agreements are expected to commence in July 2017.

     "In addition, we would like to encourage more SMEs and start-ups to undertake IT projects in the Government. The essential requirement on volume of services of the bidders in the past, being evidence of their track records, has been significantly lowered so that more local companies, including SMEs and start-ups, are eligible for bidding. For example, for Category 4 and for Category 3 Major Group, a company can meet the requirement if the aggregate volume of services over the past three years is $2 million and $15 million respectively, which is only about one third of the requirement in the current arrangement," the spokesman said.

     "With the rapid change in IT processes and technology nowadays, we expect that contractors should bring in creative solutions embracing state-of-the-art system development technologies, best practices of system design and programming, and innovative processes and services to address contemporary needs. As such, we have put more emphasis on the technical aspect in the assessment of work assignment as service quality is of utmost importance. A higher technical weighting with a price/technical ratio of 60:40 instead of the commonly adopted 70:30 will be used as appropriate for work assignments in Categories 1 and 3, such as strategic studies and design and implementation of robust and quality IT solutions, to reflect the importance of innovative and creative elements of the professional services."

     The SOA-QPS scheme is part of the Government's IT outsourcing strategy to enlarge its delivery capacity for IT services and accelerate the delivery of IT solutions to support the increasing demand of quality e-Government services. It also provides excellent business opportunities for the IT sector and helps further the development of the local IT industry.

     During the contract period of 48 months, bureaux/departments may invite proposals for individual IT projects from suppliers in the relevant Categories and Groups and select contractors to undertake the assignments based on technical and price assessments.

     A notice on the tender invitation was gazetted today. The tender document is available for collection at the reception counter, OGCIO, 6/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong. It can also be downloaded from www.ogcio.gov.hk/en/business/tender_eoi_rfp/open_tender_notice.htm.

     Prospective tenderers are invited to attend a tender briefing session on January 5, 2017. The tender submission deadline is noon on February 3, 2017.
Ends/Friday, December 23, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:05
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