07/11/2013 to 09/12/2013

Questions and Answers

Friday 15 November 2013

Q.1 The table in Section 1.10 Metadata in the Statement of Requirements lists a number of TIFF tags that are to be Included with each image. However tags 273, 278 and 279 are related to strip scanning or scanning microfiche.  Are we required to generate these additional tags even though they are not related to the type of image that is being generated. These tags 273, 278 and 279 are not present in the sample images you have provided. Is this an additional requirement for this contract?


A.1. The system used by the Library to process the images has been designed in such a way to receive these TIFF tags, and will not validate the images during ingest if these tags and their values are missing. They are therefore part of the requirements.

Q.2. Does the Library anticipate setting up three panels, one for scan only, one for OCR only, and one Combined? Or will the Library set up either a Combined panel or OCR and Scanning panels?

A.2. The Library anticipates setting up three panels, one for scan only, one for OCR only and one for a Combined process.

Tuesday 19 Nov 2013

Q.3. Please confirm that the sample newspaper issues are provided for Tenderers reference only. In other words sample outputs are not required at this stage.

A.3. Yes, the sample issues are provided for reference only.

Q.4. Please confirm that Tenderers are to respond to the documents as listed under the heading '13.2 Tenders must include' in the RFT.

A.4. Yes, the three documents listed under Clause 13.2 represent the minimum content  required for evaluation of the tenders.

Thursday 21 Nov 2013

 Q.5. There are some discrepancies between the tender documents RFT 13/106 and RFT 13/108. The followings are listed in the 13/106 only and not in RFT 13/108. Should they be in both or should they be taken out completely?

a. Definitions, Schedule 1, 1.1 – lists “sharpening’ as a software tool.

b. Handling Source Material, Schedule 1, 1.7.4 – need to demonstrate ability to safely handle source material.

c. Deliverables, Schedule 1, 1.7.5 – comment on ability to transfer data in specified format.

A.5. Thank you for pointing these omissions out. They should be in both.

a. “Sharpening” should have been added to the Schedule 1, 1.1 Definitions in RFT13/108. The definition of “Sharpening” is “A software method of exaggerating ‘edges’ in an image to give an enhanced definition”.

b. The requirement in Schedule 1, 1.7.4 in RFT 13/106 that “Tenderers must demonstrate within their submissions an ability to safely handle Original Source Materials” should have been included in Schedule 1, 1.7.4 RFT13/108.

c. The requirement in Schedule 1, 1.7.5 in RFT13/106 that “Tenderers must comment on their ability to transfer data supplied in this format. Tenderers may propose alternate supply arrangements but Tenderers should note the ongoing requirement for the Library to be able to implement efficient automated handling processes.” should have been included in Schedule 1, 1.7.5 in RFT 13/108.

Q.6. Section 25 “Access to Contractor’s Premises and Records” in the Draft Deed states the need to access records for a period of 7 years after termination of contract. Which records is this referring to and why so long?

 A.6. Section 25 relates to the activities of an “Auditor” (as in 25.1) which can include the Privacy Commissioner, Commonwealth Auditor General, Commonwealth Ombudsman, a Library officer or a delegate of any of the above so the records referred to are those relevant to their areas of activities

Tuesday 26 Nov 2013

Q.7. What is the total number of microfilms to be scanned?

A.7. As described in Part A of the RFT the Library envisaged that about three million newspaper pages will be scanned and delivered every year until 2015/16 and on a reduced scale after that. One microfilm reel can contain between a few hundred to a few thousand pages, but the Library uses a general ballpark figure of 1,000 pages per reel, which means about 3,000 reels a year to be scanned. Please note that the Library does not guarantee the quantity of work to any successful Tenderer.

Q.8. What is the time frame for completing the job – scanning, ocring, indexing etc?

A.8. Scanning and OCR work will be given out to each successful Tenderer via official work orders which will include details of time frame for the completion of each job.

Q.9. Can an individual submit tender and if approved, form the company for signing the deed?

A.9. The Library expects that only companies will submit tender responses in order to satisfy the Condition for Participation in this tender as set out in Schedule 2.

Q.10. Can we include a subcontractor with the tender proposal and if accepted, form a consortium for signing the deed?

A.10. The Library has to be satisfied that the company responding to the tender will be the company that it will sign the deed with, should that company be successful. It will not be acceptable if the consortium formed is a different legal entity from the successful Tenderer.

Q.11. Why is there preference for a company with iso 9000 etc. It leaves small companies or individuals at disadvantage who could do the work equally well.

A.11. Schedule 1, Section 1.6.2 for data security and management, as well as Schedule 3.4 for the risk management plan refer to relevant ISO standards. The Library prefers the Tenderers to comply with these standards to allow it to evaluate the services and capabilities of each Tenderer in an objective and standardised way.

Q.12. Would it be possible for NLA to share examples of the work reports?  The description of the reports is clear but examples go a long way.

A.12. The reports are Excel csv files and are quite straightforward. The data elements required for the work reports are all set out in the RFT. The Library will provide the successful Tenderer with templates if needed.

Please note that in accordance RFT clause 17.2, all requests for further information or clarification should be lodged no later than 5 pm on the day that is five Business Days prior to the Tender Closing Time. The cut-off time therefore will be 5 pm local Canberra time on Friday 29 November 2013.

Wednesday 27 Nov 2013

Q.13. Clause 2a, Schedule 3.6 “Strategic Fit” stipulates that “if the Tenderer has entered into one or more contracts with the Australian Government within the last three years, information about those contracts and how their performance demonstrates that it is able to meet this evaluation criterion.  This information should include the name of relevant projects, the duration, the number of other parties involved (if any) and written referee reports (no more than three projects required)”. Can you please clarify the written referee reports? What is the report expected.

A.13. To help the Library assess the Tenderer’s strategic fit with the Library, these referee reports from Australian Government agencies should provide information about how the Tenderer’s performance in working closely and cooperatively over extended periods of time with these agencies.

Q.14. Though the RFT specifies that “The scanning is required to be undertaken in a production facility located in Australia”, would it be possible to relax this condition & permit scanning overseas? We have Nextscan Eclipse Scanners and have been rendering this service for over a decade to other customers. There is no history of any loss or damage of microfilms in transit or in our custody. We believe that we will be in a position to offer best value to NLA by carrying out both the operations and hence this request for relaxation of condition.

A.14. This condition has been put into the RFT because the microfilm owner institutions are not willing for the reels to be transported overseas. At this stage the Library does not expect that to change.

Friday 29 Nov 2013

Q.15. In the Schedule 2 of the RFT, the signature page calls for 2 signatures – one of a director and one of director/ secretary. Would it suffice if one director alone signs the Form of Tender?

A.15. Yes, it will suffice if one director alone signs Schedule 2. Naturally this director must be authorised to commit the organisation to the tender submission.

Q.16. Is it mandatory to have Schedule 2 – Form of Offer in the RFT physically signed?  Are scanned pages with signatures acceptable? One of our authorized signatories are travelling and hence we seek this clarification.

A.16. A scanned page with signatures is acceptable.

Q.17. In Schedule 2 – Form of offer, Section: Further Information in Relation to Financial and Corporate Capability, the Item, “12. The Tenderer hereby consents to and authorises the Auditor-General or its nominee to access its premises and inspect any documents, records or other information, however stored, in connection with the RFT. The Tenderer will cooperate as reasonably required with any request for access” should be #11 instead of #12. Please confirm.

A.17. Thank you for pointing that out. This is indeed a typographical error and this item should be #11.

Please note that in accordance RFT clause 17.2, all requests for further information or clarification should be lodged no later than 5 pm on the day that is five Business Days prior to the Tender Closing Time. The cut-off time therefore will be 5 pm local Canberra time on Friday 29 November 2013.

Monday 2 Dec 2013

Q.18. Questions about the draft deed:

a. For Clause 19.5, please specify the frequency (number of meetings per year) and duration. Will these meetings be held in Australia? Will the cost of travel & stay be reimbursed?

b. For Schedule 1 Item 10, 11 - Unconditional Financial Undertaking, Performance Guarantee, please specify if these are mandatory? If yes, under what circumstances will these required?

c. For Schedule 3 Clause 4, please specify the quantum & milestones of liquidated damages.

d. For Schedule 1 Item 9, will it be possible to reduce the Worker’s compensation insurance to AU$10 million?

e. Compliance to Australian Regulations, we propose to execute the project from overseas. There are a number of instances where the contractor is expected to comply with Australian WHS. Can this be interpreted as Compliance with Local regulations instead of Australian Regulations?

A.18. These clauses are standard to all Library tenders and supporting contracts when we approach the market place.  They are not specific to this particular tender.

a. The Library expects to work closely with each successful Tenderer, which includes developing the most effective way of communication that works well for both parties. This clause provides the Library with the flexibility to request meetings with the Contractor as the need arises, but always in consultation with the Contractor. The Library generally does not reimburse cost of travel and stay for Contractors, and for Contractors who operate overseas it is unlikely that the Library will request meetings in Australia.

b. The Library uses a financial undertaking as an amount of money to cover the alternative delivery of the services where the contractor fails to do so, while the performance guarantee is to seek another company to sign up and guarantee that the obligations of the contractor are to be met. The actual formula for the amount of funds for each depends on the circumstances of the contract.

A financial undertaking or a performance guarantee is to be provided only if required by the Library. In reality they are not likely to be required by the Library.  This is because:

(i) It is a deed of standing offer that will be signed between the Library and a successful Tenderer.  At the time of signing, there is not a contract formed between the parties.  As a consequence there would be no requirement for any guarantee.  A contract is only formed at the placement of an official order;

(ii) The Library will control the amount of work being provided and the risks associated with any potential non-performance are possibly more effectively managed  through that than through requesting for financial undertakings or guarantees;

(iii)  The Library intends to create a panel of contractors through this RFT process therefore we already have alternatives if a Contractor fails to perform.

c. The Library’s requirements for Liquidated Damages Milestones will be negotiated with the successful Tenderers.

d. The amounts for insurance coverage quoted in the draft deed are generic.  Tenderers are required under Clause 2, Schedule 3.9 in the RFT to provide details of insurance covered held or proposed. The extent of each Tenderer's insurance coverage and value will then be considered by the Library when evaluating risk, as part of the consideration of overall value for money.

e. For Tenderers operating overseas, clauses 13.3 (a), 17.2, 42.1 and 43.2 should be interpreted as requirements for the Tenderer to comply with any applicable WHS law which will be the relevant national and local legislations.

Q.19. Is it fine to showcase the three projects from a single client?

A.19. In relation to the requirement under Schedule 3.6 Strategic Fit for the Tenderer to provide details of up to three projects with Australian Government agencies, it is fine to use three different projects from a single client.

Q.20. Is it mandatory to provide the Insurance details in the RFT response?

A.20. Tenderers are required under Clause 2, Schedule 3.9 in the RFT to provide details of insurance covered held and/or proposed.

Please note that the Library will not respond to further questions about this tender.

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