The goal of the SKA procurement function is to ensure the successful execution of the SKA entire mission, by effectively and efficiently managing the acquisition process.
At this time (Q3, 2018) the detailed Procurement Policy and processes are under discussion and await Board approval and announcement in the context of an International Governmental Organisation (IGO) structure. However the general framework for SKA procurement will be characterised by:
- Contracts places by the central SKA Organisation, funded by cash contributions from the member countries, and
- In-kind contributions provided directly by SKA member countries
The general principles governing the future procurement policy are openness, competitiveness and transparency, noting the expectations of member countries to receive a level of return proportional to their investment. These principles will apply to both cash and expected in-kind contributions.
The SKA Procurement Office will play a pivotal role in shaping the acquisition of goods, services, and technology in order to build and operate the SKA. Procurement processes will cover:
- The undertaking of global industry ‘scouting’ work and member country surveys, and use this information to inform a ‘smart’ procurement approach for greater efficiency and effectiveness and assist in understanding the capability landscape for procurement ‘balancing’;
- Requirements, as they progress from general performance aspirations through to specifications, will be appropriately communicated, and developed with the benefit of industry consultation. It is likely that specifications will be a mix of ‘build-to-print’, and performance specifications, as appropriate. Requirements will be realistic in terms of commercial risk, and incorporate appropriate milestones and payment arrangements;
- Procurement documents will be made available to potential bidders/suppliers at the same time and with reasonable time frames for a response, in accordance with the complexity of the specification;
- Received tenders for each procurement will be assessed on a fair and equitable basis. The cost of responding to tenders will be kept as low as possible, in line with industry best practice;
- Where it is considered necessary, feasible and is permitted, briefings will be held and/or information will be made available in relation to specific tenders, as well as sector-specific information on coming tenders;
- Procurement activities, whether by competitive open tender, restricted tender, or strategic alliance, will be managed professionally, ethically, and efficiently, operate under a procurement policy, and must withstand proper scrutiny;
- The SKA Office may collaborate and consult on a ‘without prejudice’ basis with industry, and may seek general advice concerning the manner of requirements setting, programmatic effectiveness, and specific contractual performance. Such activities will be structured so as to avoid ‘lock-out’ of any future vendor to the project;
- The SKA Organisation will pursue a ‘best-value’ approach to the market, and will demonstrate integrity and fairness in negotiating contractual matters with national and international entities, in accordance with approved procurement rules and policy. SKA Office procurement policy will permit techniques such as balancing and Fair Work Return to fulfil global goals for collaborative return on investment, and capacity building.
The SKA Organisation Procurement Office will be responsible for:
- Administering the procurement and work assignment processes, including determining the suitability of elements of the SKA Programme to be undertaken as centrally-funded procurements or as in-kind contributions;
- Undertaking supplier pre-qualification processes necessary for the centrally funded procurement or work assignment;
- Undertaking detailed negotiations on the controls (product assurance, project management, system engineering) for in-kind contributions;
- All aspects of negotiation on details of the tasks and apportionment of work, risk and financial matters; and
- The valuation of in-kind contributions according to principles agreed by the SKA Board
Further details of the construction-phase procurement process will be presented here shortly.
For more information, and to discuss potential opportunities in the various areas of SKA’s design process, please contact your Industry Liaison Officer.
From time to time, we will advertise tender opportunities from the SKA Organisation and partner organisations including member countries. When announced, these will appear below