[OSGeo Africa] ESRI in Government and tender requirements

Abraham Parbhunath ParbhuA at eskom.co.za
Mon Jul 30 04:17:13 PDT 2018

Hi Gavin.  I sent this last Thursday, but it bounced.

I’m sure the term should be “ESRI ( Application  and version no.) compatible” format.  We have specced many contracts and we always use the “compatible” term.  If there were data issues from previous projects, one can introduce a caveat as to why a proprietary software must be used, but this should be backed by facts.

With regards to ArcMap package or exporting of geodatabases for bundling of project information- this is unfortunately a proprietary issue.  For GIS companies with more than 1 user, maybe a compromise would be to complete all the work in the package of your choice and just use a single ESRI licence to export the data.

Abraham Parbhunath

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Signature Version 27/07/2018 06:00

From: Africa [mailto:africa-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Gavin Fleming
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 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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