One of the key initiatives the Domestic Council has focused on is the Model RFP and advocacy on changing the terms and conditions that would enable the industry to participate in government projects. Based on the efforts led by NASSCOM, MeITY has released the Model RFP template on its website. This can be accessed here.
This version is a huge step forward and addresses many of the 19 pain points outlined by NASSCOM. There are 1-2 critical issues that are still unresolved and we are requesting MeITY to address those, but they are not immediate show stoppers. Some of the issues raised are outside the purview of MeITY and hence cannot be addressed by the model RFP.
Key Highlights of the Model RFP
- Gap Warranty: This issue is partially resolved. In case of no response from the purchaser in a post go-live scenario, the deemed acceptance clause will be invoked.
However there are no clear timelines defined. NASSCOM is representing to MeiTY to define a timeline to ensure signoffs over a maximum period of 45 days.
- Cash Flow: 75% payment on delivery, 15% on commissioning and 10% four months after go-live is the new introduction. Most of the Domestic Council members feel this is very positive.
- Deemed Acceptance: This is a big win as the government has allowed Deemed Acceptance if there is no response in 15 days from final submission.
- Flexibility in H/W specs: Change in OEM has been permitted after approval from the Purchaser.
- Penalty (fixing of any other defects): Maximum damages capped to one TCV as desired.
- Penalty (from any other projects): As desired, penalty to be recovered from payments of same project.
- Termination for Convenience: Although the overarching Optional clause has been removed however no mention of AMC, WIP, uncovered investments has been made as requested.
- Confidentiality: Organisational NDAs can be accepted depending on project criticality.
- Extension of warranty (SLA Credits) : Not completely removed but it’s been mentioned here with a caveat- “For reasons not attributable to IA, the IA shall not be liable”. NASSCOM is representing to MeitY for further clarification on sharing of extended warranty costs.