Already wobbling under low margins, currency fluctuations and an undermining economy, the IT Industry faces a trust deficit in the form of unlimited accountability, unfavorable payment terms, unreasonable legal frameworks, fall clause, obscure SLAs and lack of clarity in e-Governance projects in India.
Deliberating on the above to provide the much needed impetus to the IT industry, the Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology (MAIT) in partnership with Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), with Accenture as its knowledge partner, recently organized a sensitization workshop on Model RFPs (Request for Proposal), prepared by DeitY for selection on consultants, system integrators and PPP operators for e-Governance projects.
The workshop was inaugurated by M N Vidyashankar, IAS., additional chief secretary (Retd.), Govt. of Karnataka and saw the participation of southern states in the form of their IT Secretaries and IT departments and heads of leading technology companies.
Commenting on the occasion, Vidyashankar said, "Karnataka being the only state to have an integrated e-procurement based on deliverables and outcomes has the potential to lead the country in e-governance. Such workshops help in arriving at cohesive solutions that enable improvements in procurement processes."
At the workshop, heads from IT majors opined their experiences in e-Governance and raised challenges faced by the industry in executing such projects. They suggested policy altercations which if implemented would foster an equitable partnership between industry, government and the beneficiaries of e-Governance projects.
Speaking on the occasion, VenkatKedlaya, Southern Region chairman, MAIT, said, "This workshop threw light on how decision making is a challenge in our country - efficiency and transparency is our clarion call to e-Governance projects and MAIT will be rolling out a ‘White Paper' detailing concrete actionables for streamlining IT projects."
D K Das, National Business Head, Government Industrial Solutions, Tata Consultancy Services, commented, "Ease of payment terms, rationalization of legal terms and Service Level Agreement (SLA) can boost confidence thereby enabling Tier 1 firms to actively participate in e-Governance projects in India."
Industry experts also opined that the government should invest quality time during the evaluation of e-Governance projects. Vivek Sharma, GM and business head, Government and Defense Vertical,Wipro, saidthat "RFPs are often one-sided".He further added that "two-way accountability would co-create better linkages and synergies in e-Governance and procurement".
MAIT, with the given maturity of industry, urged the government to respond to the changing dynamics. C T Bhadran, chairman, System Integration, MAIT, mentioned that "The terms of RFP should be practical and reasonable, yet adhering to the legal framework. The scope of the project in the RFP should be elucidated so as to ensure that companies know what they are getting into"
Through these initiatives, MAIT intends to reach out to all states through their IT secretaries, state e-government mission teams and other government procuring organizations