Gijima scores R339m health tender
IT services company Gijima has secured a R339 million tender from the State IT Agency (SITA).
The contract will see the company provide a fully-managed health information system to the Gauteng Department of Health.
The tender, RFB 1843/ 2018, was first advertised at the end of November 2018, with the deadline for the complex, high-value system set for just two weeks later.
According to a SITA notice published in the National Tender Bulletin earlier this month, Gijima outbid 13 other companies – including Vox Telecoms, Praxis Computing, Telemedicine Africa, Medical Information Technologies and Faranani IT Services – to secure the contract.
SITA spokesperson Anthea Summers says the tender validity time frame had to be extended beyond the originally specified 120 days.
“The delay was linked to government and departmental financial re-adjustments over this period and on resolving the validation of the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) SAP licence estate between Gijima and GPG,” she explains.
Gijima, on the other hand, says this kind of time period is quite normal for tenders.
“This award has been relatively quicker since the tender was issued in 2018 and awarded in 2019. SITA is applauded for the speed in the evaluation of all the bids,” says group chief executive Maphum Nxumalo.
In the original specifications, SITA explained the provincial department was pursuing the implementation of an e-health architecture, in line with the national department's e-health strategy.
The objective of this architecture was to facilitate the provisioning of integrated healthcare across Gauteng health facilities, the agency explained. To accomplish these objectives, the Gauteng Department of Health wanted to implement a single, fully-managed, integrated, interoperable health information system (HIS).
“This system will serve as the cornerstone to facilitate the attainment of the integrated healthcare requirements. The anticipated outcome is an operational HIS deployed across the hospital and provincial primary healthcare facilities,” it said.
Requirements detailed in the scope of work included:
- Supply, installation, configuration and implementation of a single, fully managed HIS.
- Provision of professional and implementation services for 37 hospitals, 33 community health centres and primary healthcare facilities.
- Enhancement, where required, based on business requirements.
- Five years of support and maintenance.
- Provision of solution-relevant technical training and certification for 12 people.
- Functional training for all relevant health systems platforms and ICT staff, estimated to be 5 000 to 15 000 people.
- Skills transfer to the department’s staff at facility and central office must be an ongoing process.
Once implemented, the system is expected to have a considerable impact on the manner in which medical information is stored, accessed and used.
It will also provide the department with tools to monitor activity at patient, doctor, clinic, pharmacy and hospital levels. The system must also be able to produce a smartcard which contains basic patient demographic data and the unique patient identifier number as well as other data agreed by the department.
On the rebound
For many years, Gijima was the darling of public sector procurement officers; however, a number of contentious relationships and forays into litigation saw the company move into the background of government's list of preferred partners.
The company hit the headlines again in 2018, when Transnet wanted to award it an IT data services tender which T-Systems disputed, believing the contract rightfully belonged to it. The conflict headed to the High Court, with all three parties filing affidavits related to the matter, before T-Systems withdrew from the battle.
At the time, T-Systems said a due diligence and risk assessment report from Gartner found the Gijima bid created “major” and “almost certain” risk to Transnet. The company said that some of the risks identified were that Gijima could not commit to completely transitioning Transnet's IT services within six months, a standard other bidders had to meet; and Gijima failed to provide proof that it had the requisite experience in operating a data centre and hosting services but rather planned to rely on the experience of its partner IBM.
The past couple of years have seen Gijima returning to the negotiating table and once again securing a number of government contracts.
In February last year, the Electoral Commission awarded it a R24 million contract for contact centre services. In May, BankSeta awarded the company a R32 million cyber security internship tender. SARS selected Gijima to deliver two categories of IT courses at an undisclosed price.
In November 2018, the then newly appointed communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams spoke at the launch of SITA's private cloud solution, which was implemented with the support of private sector partners Gijima, IBM and Huawei.
Nxumalo says the company's turnaround strategy has been successful and Gijima is now focused on its drive for organic growth.
“Gijima is working closely with its partners and potential partners by innovating so as to cut costs and increase profitability for our clients.”