The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) said it cancelled the SA Connect tender after it found that no bidders met the mandatory technical requirements.
Bidders were expected to meet six mandatory technical requirements before they could proceed to the next phase, pricing evaluation.
Since no bidder passed the technical evaluation, the bid had to be cancelled in terms of clause 32.4.1 (4) of the SITA Supply Chain Management Policy.
In line with the policy, a decision for cancellation was signed off at a meeting of the board of directors of SITA on 19 October 2016 – after which the Department of Telecommunications was notified.
“Realising and acknowledging the importance of SA Connect, SITA and the [DTPS] will still meet to discuss a way forward,” said SITA.
The six bidders
SITA said it was approached by the Department of Telecommunications to appoint a service provider for the roll-out of phase 1 of the SA Connect tender.
The SA Connect document was published on 24 June. The bidding then closed on 8 August 2016, with the following six companies submitting tender responses.
- Broadband Infraco
- Tradepage and Galela Telecommunications Holding (joint venture)
SITA then conducted a screening process to ascertain if the bidders had submitted compliance documentation before proceeding to the technical evaluation stage.
At the conclusion of the technical evaluation, which was overseen by an independent auditor, none of the six companies had met all six technical mandatory requirements.
The six bidders were notified that their bids had failed in the week of 14-18 November.
A notification of the cancellation was also communicated through the Government Gazette.
SITA did not disclose what the mandatory technical requirements were in its statement.