The Analytical Center suggests that the Ministry of Communications should purchase productivity software in a two-stage centralized process

18 october 2018 | Kommersant

The Ministry of Communications has run into problems with centralized procurement of domestically sourced software and specifically anti-viruses for federal executive bodies, according to a new article in the Kommersant, citing some market players as sources.

Pavel Tikhomirov
Pavel Tikhomirov
Department for Corporate Reforms and Purchases

The problem is that as yet no methodology has been developed for checking that software complies with the additional requirements that went into effect back in 2017. The format for such verification is currently being discussed: according one of the proposals, government bodies will only be able to purchase software after they test it, the newspaper explains.

The Analytical Center suggested that the Ministry of Communications should organize a two-stage centralized procurement process for productivity software, Pavel Tikhomirov, Head of the Department for Corporate Reforms and Purchases of the Analytical Center, told a Kommersant correspondent.

"In stage one the domestic productivity software suites are to be checked for compliance with relevant legal requirements. Then, those solutions that have passed the initial compliance checks, should be submitted for testing by federal executive bodies in order to get user feedback on what modifications need to be made. And only after diverse productivity suites have been tested and modified based on user feedback, one of them will be purchased on a centralized basis," the expert said, explaining that the terms and criteria for such assessment are still being discussed.

This two-stage procurement process should ensure that federal executive bodies purchase top quality domestically sourced software, Mr. Tikhomirov stressed.

Software included in the registry needs to be tested prior to procurement because afterwords there won't be time for detailed tests and should any non-compliances be found, all the state officials will suddenly be left high and dry without access to any software, Mr. Tikhomirov explains. Testing also allows the developers get user feedback and fix any problems and bugs with the software, something that cannot be done as part of the procurement procedure.

And seeing how the best balance between the interests of customers and those of vendors is achieved when there is enough competition in the market, conditions need to be created for there to be at least two leading companies offering productivity software in the market.

"Lack of supply in the market results in its monopolization which leads to higher prices, quasi-competition and other negatives," Mr. Tikhomirov believes. "So we need to grow competition to avoid a situation where there is just one big player totally dominating the entire market." According to him all developers and their products are included in the list of domestic software so people know about them. And vendors and products that will take part in the final centralized procurement will be determined by the selection and trial use.

Source: Kommersant