[OSGeo Africa] ESRI in Government and tender requirements

Nhamo, Luxon (IWMI-South Africa) L.Nhamo at cgiar.org
Thu Jul 26 04:13:00 PDT 2018

Hi all

That is what the supplier wants. I do not see where the problem is. If ESRI has managed to penetrate government through their marketing strategies what’s the problem? Why can’t you do the same with your products? If you can’t beat them join them.


From: Africa [mailto:africa-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Sindile Bidla
Sent: 26 July 2018 12:49 PM
To: Africa local chapter discussions <africa at lists.osgeo.org>
Cc: Africa local chapter discussions <africa at lists.osgeo.org>
Subject: Re: [OSGeo Africa] ESRI in Government and tender requirements

Hi all,

I was also surprised by this requirement from DHS.

I think what is best is those prejudiced by this requirement to write to the Department and to seek a response from the officials in the tender document. If there is no satisfactory response to escalate the matter to the Office of the DG and even National Treasury.


Sindile XJ Bidla



087 809 0923  m: 082 340 8538


Unit 5 Villa Toscana

Martinique Drive, Beacon Bay, East London



---- On Thu, 26 Jul 2018 10:23:48 +0200 Aslam Parker <Aslam.Parker at drdlr.gov.za<mailto:Aslam.Parker at drdlr.gov.za>> wrote ----

Hi Gavin

The SITA circular does not state that you can only use ESRI, rather that if ESRI is used, there is only one accredited service provider (that I am aware of).  This has the effect of speeding up the procurement process significantly if ESRI products/services are indeed a requirement, especially when it comes to maintenance etc.

Gavin, ask for a copy of the circular. The National Treasury Instruction 3 of 2017/2018 is about cost cutting and makes no reference to ESRI.

From: Africa [mailto:africa-bounces at lists.osgeo.org<mailto:africa-bounces at lists.osgeo.org>] On Behalf Of Gavin Fleming
Sent: Thursday, 26 July 2018 10:10 AM
To: Africa local chapter discussions
Subject: [OSGeo Africa] ESRI in Government and tender requirements

Hi all

I attended the briefing session for the Department of Home Affairs geographical accessibility study (Thanks Zoltan for the heads-up).

The ToR states that the service provider has to have ArcGIS. I asked for this requirement to be removed since it does not matter what software the service provider uses as long as they deliver the result. The response from DHA was that Govt has a ’transversal ESRI licence’ and that all Govt departments have to use ESRI! Never mind that this is completely contrary to the FOSS policy agreed to by Cabinet in 2007 and against SITA procurement policy, if it even is true that Govt is ‘has to’ use ESRI that does NOT mean service providers have to. Nevertheless I got a vocal support from other attendees as this requirement is ridiculous and exclusionary.

DHA went further to say they want service providers to use ArcGIS so they don’t end up with issues using the data that service providers deliver. They are confusing software with data and don’t seem to be aware (or are so brainwashed) that most formats produced by most GIS software these days are completely interoperable. Furthermore they are unaware of and indeed flouting the MIOS (SA Govt Minimum Interoperability Standards).

Even worse and quite nonsensical is this formal response from DHA to all attendees of the briefing session:

  *   Relating to SITA circular 1 of 2017/18 and National Treasury SCM circular 3 of 2017/8, it is a requirement that all Government departments make use of ESRI South Africa for software and therefore the format required will be in Arc GIS format.

Firstly there is no such thing as ‘Arc GIS format’. Secondly this is blatantly incorrect (and illegal if it is true). Lastly, can anyone enlighten the list as to the contents of the two circulars mentioned and whether they even support this argument?

Your thoughts? Anyone willing to take action?



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