[OSGeo Africa] ESRI in Government and tender requirements

Peter Newmarch newmarch at land-surveyors.com
Thu Jul 26 15:25:39 PDT 2018

Hello All,


Having now gone through the circulars, I must say, I have serious concerns!


SAGI will get a legal opinion. There is additional documentation needed that I can see the advocates asking for – I will approach some members individually on this to source such.








From: Africa <africa-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> On Behalf Of Sibonelo Dlamini
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2018 8:07 PM
To: Africa local chapter discussions <africa at lists.osgeo.org>
Subject: Re: [OSGeo Africa] ESRI in Government and tender requirements


Hello All 


I think that  we should seek legal advice on this topic. If possible, I believe We got a strong opinions. 


Kind regards

Sibonelo Dlamini

Cd:Ngi 0216584300



On Thu, 26 Jul 2018, 19:59 Kashmira <kashmirab at gmail.com <mailto:kashmirab at gmail.com> > wrote:



After reading the entire mail trail we must not shy away from the fact that, if the Government Sector already has a licence then they can stipulate that "the use of this existing environment is a must and enhancements may be required", its like asking them to replace all windows to linux (someday)


I do agree that SITA itself should not be partial to ESRI seeing that they are products that do the same at a reduced cost. Yes we can raise this as an issue against SITA and request a review of the decision to list ESRI as the preferred product. We should seek legal advise if possible as I feel we do have a strong argument here.










On 26 July 2018 at 10:10, Gavin Fleming <gavinjfleming at gmail.com <mailto:gavinjfleming at gmail.com> > wrote:

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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