USAID may soon undertake an Africa-wide survey of the
market for ICT-related commodities and services,
everything from computer systems to satellite systems,
and Web site designers to business process reengineers.
Let me stress that this survey will be Africa-wide, not
only in Kenya. This survey may be used in developing a
specific procurement, but no such procurement has been
developed at this time.
The type of procurement that might eventually be
developed could be what we call an indefinite delivery,
indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, tendered under
"commercial item" principles.
An IDIQ contract is where firms and organizations are
preselected in open competition and placed on a roster.
Once a firm is approved and listed on the roster, then for
the duration of the contract (perhaps 5 years) USAID
could quickly and easily request any commodities and
services from that firm that the firm agreed to make
available when it bid on the contract.
The "commercial item" principles simply state that
USAID would follow the procedures for issuing a contract
that are prevalent in the industry, rather than making
firms and organizations adhere to special USAID
procedures for bidding on a contract. The idea here is to
assure that firms and organizations do not have to
employ contracts specialists in order to compete for
USAID business. USAID will in effect try and make the
bidding process as easy as possible for participants.
However, at this stage, no specific procurement action
has been decided. USAID may choose not to issue any
procurement action at all, and it may decide not to use
the type of contracting procedures listed above. I am
providing you the above information to encourage your
interest in the market survey, especially if you have not
previously considered doing business with USAID. We
are simply initiating a market survey to see what
commodities and services are available, at what level of
quality, and at what prices.
I have been asked to suggest the names of companies
that might be contacted during this survey. Please do
send me a brief note about you and your organization if
you are interested in being contacted. The survey would
likely take place between now and December. It will be
conducted not by me but by official contracting officers or
their designees. I am merely facilitating their work, and I
do not have the authority to contract directly.
For the survey, in general we would be looking for
organizations and companies (for profit, not for profit) with
broad market experience interested in talking about the
market in general and not just about their particular firm.
Of course USAID will be quite interested to know as well
about the capabilities of particular firms and the services
and commodities those organizations and companies
might like to offer, and in what countries these
organizations and companies might be willing to offer
For example, a firm in Gaborone might consider offering
its commodities (e.g. computers) only in Botswana, but
would be willing to send its technical staff on
assignments in nearby countries. A company in Senegal
might like to do business in any francophone country in
West Africa. Etc.
Again, during this survey no specific conversations will be
held about particular procurements that might eventually
be undertaken by USAID. No special consideration will
be given to firms participating in the market survey.
In addition to the above, we might like to know about how
firms and organizations perceive the procurement
process. Do certain types of organizations have
advantages that are perceived to be unfair, for example?
Does this preclude the US Government from using its
funds efficiently to deliver the best value? Is there a
better way that USAID can procure commodities and
services in Africa? Is there information that USAID might
provide to potential suppliers of commodities and services
that would help them participate in the procurement
process in a fair and equitable manner? Are there steps
USAID can take to assure that the companies with which
it does business truly deliver on promised quality, rather
than just the lowest price?
Organizations that have previously sent me information
should send a followup note to me to express their
continued interest in this process. I look forward to
hearing from you.
Jeff @ Nairobi
Information and Communication Technology Programs
Tel +254 (2) 862400 x2762
Email [log in to unmask] (preferred)
Email [log in to unmask]
PO Box 30261