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AFRIK-IT  August 2001

AFRIK-IT August 2001

Subject:

Nairobi BOA

From:

Jeffrey Cochrane <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Thu, 2 Aug 2001 13:42:11 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (96 lines)

Greetings Afrik-ITes!

On 12 Jul 2001, at 18:19, Eric S Johnson wrote:

> hi friends, though some on the list might find this of interest.

> RFP ICT Support Services (USAID/REDSO 623-01-P-011)

> http://www.usaid.gov/ftp_data/pub/OP/RFP/62301p011/

This is due in Nairobi on August 9 I think, so the hour is a bit late.
My understanding is that there may be an additional opportunity to
join this BOA later in the year.  I had to get permission to send this
email out to you, and that took a bit of time.  Sorry for this being so
late.

I looked at the PDF version on the USAID Web site noted above.
There's a statement of work on page 31 (out of 51 pages total).
The rest is probably only going to be of interest to companies
actually planning to bid for the work. Don't be intimidated by all the
verbage -- most of the text is simply required by American law and
is standard.  The meat is the statement of work on page 31.

For the purposes of Afrik-IT, you may recall I did a little market
survey about a year ago on the possibility of USAID procuring
services directly from firms in Africa  This solicitation for the BOA
is a result of that research as well as considerable additional work
undertaken by the USAID contracts office and my Kenyan
colleagues in Nairobi after my departure from there last November.

It's probably not appropriate for me to answer questions directly
about the solicitation, but I would be happy to facilitate contacts
with the contracting officer if there are questions from Afrik-IT
subscribers. Again, please do understand that I'm no longer
directly involved in this solicitation.

My understanding from reading the solicitation is that any firm
(American or African or otherwise) can bid to be included in this.
My impression, without having talked to the CO in Nairobi, is that
the likely winners (and there could easily be many winners) will be
larger firms providing general consulting expertise on both the
business and technical side of ICT work.

These firms could be based in Washington, San Jose, Nairobi,
Addis Ababa -- anywhere, really.  But all will be competing on both
price and quality.  I should think African-based firms providing
services in Africa would have an advantage on price, but who
knows?

I know some firms in Africa charge high prices to USAID because
they believe USAID is willing to pay.  There's a clause in the
solicitation that says firms must charge the US Government the
same or lower price it charges to its own best customers.  Do read
carefully!!

I see this as an excellent opportunity for the many African-owned
firms in Nairobi and elsewhere throughout the region to do more
direct business with USAID.  It will similarly encourage American
firms to consider branch offices in Africa, employing African
technical staff as well as Americans.  US Government rules do
include "Buy America" clauses, and those are mentioned in the
solicitation, but those clauses have exceptions.

For example, this solicitation is for a "basic ordering agreement"
while I think the terms of Buy America will apply to specific delivery
orders.  If USAID were ordering a consultant to do work for a couple
of months valued at under $250,000, then Buy America says it's ok
to use non-American, local consultants.

Another example:  If the funds being used by USAID come from the
Development Fund for Africa (a special fund set up by the US
Congress), U.S. procurement is to be maximized to the extent
practicable.  The judgement as to practicability will vary with each
situation based on factors such as sustainable use of the items to
be procured, cost, quality, and effect on project or program
objectives.  There's no price ceiling on this.

Please understand that I'm not the contracting officer (CO) and that
all official rulings on such matters must come from the CO.  I'm
just giving you my impression from having skimmed quickly
through the solicitation, and on this matter I do not speak for
USAID.  Just expressing my general opinion about how this type of
contracting vehicle can contribute to the growth of ICT services in
Africa.

Cheers!
Jeff @ Washington



----
Internet Center for Development, USAID/M/IRM/CIS RRB 2.10-031
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20523
Tel +1 (202) 712-1956, Cell 607-7961, Fax 216-3380
Email [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]

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