Geospatial data contract confuses bidders

Geospatial data contract confuses bidders

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New Zealand: A public-private partnership in geospatial data has been marred by inadequate communication and short deadlines in New Zealand.

Earlier, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) released a request for proposal (RFP) asking for “proposals from innovative companies that specialise in collaborative partnerships to implement land information web services.”

The proposal, although considered innovative both as a means of wider distribution of geographical and land-ownership (cadastral) data — a key part of the move towards opening up government digital resources — and as an example of public-private partnership that embraces the concept of open data by experts have left many puzzled as to exactly what LINZ’s needs are, and are finding it difficult to respond to the RFP.

“The aim of the project is to open up convenient online access to LINZ’s geographical and cadastral data, but having read the RFP, I still don’t know whether they are looking for a consultant, a panel of consultants or a finished system,” the potential bidder told.

Meanwhile, LINZ has extended the closing date for responses to the RFP; it was originally August 23, but is now September 6.  Linz general manager of strategic development and support, Sue Gordon said in a statement, “The RFP for these services uses an outcomes approach rather than specific technical requirements. This deliberately non-prescriptive approach, which is standard within government, allows companies to demonstrate innovation in proposed solutions and services. In response to feedback from SIBA, we extended this RFP process to four weeks, which allows companies to seek clarification on the RFP in a transparent way. Some companies have sought clarification from us.”

Linz Chief Executive Colin MacDonald said, “For some time now, Linz has engaged with many New Zealand and international market participants around geospatial web services and spatial data infrastructure. We have seen many examples already, and Linz is confident that innovative geospatial software development companies will respond to this RFP.”

Source: Computerworld NZ