Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement RFT11/103 questions and answers

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Q.1. We are currently looking for a local organisation to support potential Australian customers, but are not sure whether we need to accelerate this process due to this tender or whether the Library itself have preferred IT support organisations that they would rather use?

A.1. The Library is unable to provide a response to this question as it relates to business decisions which are to be taken by a potential tenderer, independent of Library involvement.

 

Q.2. Would you be able to share the names of the other vendors who have been invited to respond?

A2. In the interests of maintaining competition and commercial confidentiality, we will not be disclosing short listed vendor details.

 

Q.3. Can you please extend the deadline for the RFT to mid-January?

A3. We will not be extending the deadline. The Library has provided what it considers a reasonable time frame of 27 days for tenderers to respond. In addition, this process is a continuation of a previous approach to the market - the RFP was issued on 12 July 2011 and it detailed the Library’s objectives, desired outcomes and business requirements.

 

Q.4. In relation to performance requirements and data volumes - the table of data volumes listed in R254 includes images, audio, video and web archiving. A1.3 has scope exclusions for web archiving, and digitisation systems for images, maps, sound and audio visual materials. Can you please elaborate on the data volumes and how they are or are not affected by the exclusions in A1.3.

A.4. The data volumes are provided as a guide to the scale and complexity of our digital collections and the system demands from both internal and external users. Also, one of the RFT scopes is for Digital Library core systems, which needs to support all other components of the digital library, whether they are formally in scope for the RFT or not.

 

Q.5. In relation to A2.1.2.1 Relationships to other systems, R4 has several references to “to be replaced as part of digital infrastructure replacement”. Some systems in this list are specifically excluded in A1.3 . Can you clarify or update the scope of these statements please, and in particular whether the replacement referred to is part of this tender or not.

A.5. Yes, the replacement being referred to is part of this tender. R4 has a comprehensive list of current Library systems and therefore also includes the systems to be replaced. The exclusion for web archiving systems, in A1.3(d), refers to harvesting and collection management functions however the Digital Library core system, in A1.1 (a), must still support web archive collections. Therefore some functions of the PANDAS/PANDORA systems listed in R4 are not in directly in scope for replacement as part of this RFT.

 

Q.6. R4 asks for the supplier to “support interfaces with” a large number of systems for which no information on interfaces is defined. It also refers to “and their future replacements” without defining the scope or extent or type of these replacements. It would be more appropriate to define interface standards to be complied with rather than specific systems. Otherwise the scope of this requirement is “unlimited”.

A.6. In stating a requirement to support interfaces with future replacements systems, we are indicating that the Library's business and technical environment is evolving, and therefore digital library systems we procure must have flexibility and extensibility built in. We have listed interoperability requirements and standards in R257.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Q.7. Relating to Part C – Requirements of Tenders points 13.2 and 13.5, Schedules 3.1, 3.2 and 3.6 state they are not used however in Part C 13.5 it states “Subject to clause 27, Tenderers that do not include the information in paragraphs (a) to (c) of clause 13.2 will be excluded.” Please confirm that Schedules 3.1 3.2 and 3.6 do not require a response.

A.7. Tenderers are to address each of the information categories in the Schedules as Part C makes clear.  However as Schedules 3.1, 3.2 and 3.6 are marked as NOT USED, there is no information to complete. The Library confirms therefore that Schedules 3.1, 3.2 and 3.6 do not require a response.

Friday 2 December 2011

Q.8. In relation to the Draft Contract, Section 4 – Services to other Agencies, please clarify your expectation in regards to provision of services to other government agencies.  We take this to mean that you wish to extend provision of preservation services via the licensed use of the system software to government departments, state libraries, archival and heritage institutions within Australia.  Can you please provide some scope in regards to how this would be facilitated, and whether the NLA expects to have provision for a license model that will cover contractual extension of the system and/or services to such agencies.

A.8. The intent of this section is to allow other organisations as specified in the definition of Government Agency, to use any resultant individual contracts which we have with the successful tenderer(s). The Library supports cooperative procurement, i.e. the process whereby procurement action results in the potential use of a contract by more than one agency.  Cooperative procurement makes better use of resources by reducing the number of administrative processes and sharing of the procurement workload both for the agency and the potential supplier.  At the time of approaching the market there are no definite agencies which have stated they are certain to make use of any Library contract that is established.  In any event contract negotiations will take place directly between other government agencies and the successful tenderer(s).  The Library itself therefore has no expectations in regards to the provision of services to the other agencies.

 

Q.9. In relation to the Draft Contract, Section 6, please elaborate on the type of outsourcing that the Library expects to utilise, and with which entities.
 
A.9. The Library’s proposed draft contract is based on the Australian Government-wide SourceIT template. Clause 6 is therefore a boiler plate clause which is intended to cover all potential circumstances during the five year term of any contract.  At the time of approaching the market the Library has not outsourced its IT services and has no immediate plans to do so.

 

Q.10. In relation to the Draft Contract, Section 16, Section 24 and Schedule 10, please elaborate whether a financial undertaking (security) is required or not. If it is required, what type of guarantee is required, what are the conditions for the guarantee, for what amount and for what term?

A.10. Before entering into any contract the Library will perform a risk assessment to determine whether an unconditional financial undertaking in the form of a bank guarantee will be required from the potential contractor. Clause 24 (a) of the Draft Contract commences with the words ‘if required’ and hence provides this discretion.  While we are not expecting a financial undertaking will be required, there may be circumstances: e.g. clear concerns over the financial implications to the Library if a particular contractor does not perform; a contractor has limited assets or is a new entity; that may require such an undertaking.

 

Q.11. In relation to the Draft Contract, Section 17, Section 24 and Schedule 11, please elaborate whether a performance guarantee is required or not. If it is required, what type of guarantee is required, what are the conditions for the guarantee,  for what amount and for what term?

A.11. As with the previous response, before entering into any contract the Library will perform a risk assessment to determine whether a performance guarantee is required.  A performance guarantee requires another entity (often a parent company) to step in and perform the contract or indemnify the Library for any losses if they were unable to do so themselves, in the event that the contractor is no longer able to perform.  It is usually used as an alternative to an unconditional financial undertaking – the two will not both be used together – and for the same reasons.  Again clause 24 (b) uses the words ‘if required’.

 

Q.12. In relation to the Draft Contract, Schedule 3 – Payment, please clarify if you are looking for an annual license payment model as opposed to a one off up-front perpetual license payment?

A.12. Our preference is for perpetual licensing however we also welcome proposals for alternate and long term innovative license schemes and structures, to ensure a value for money outcome.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Q.13. R26 states "The solution manages file locations and maintains associations between storage locations and item identifiers if files are relocated". What is a file relocation? What is your expectation - moving from one storage location to another in a triggered process?

A.13. The Library would expect solutions to maintain pointers to files in the storage system, such that the solution can always retrieve the files from the storage system and that pointers can be updated if necessary. The Library does not expect solutions to know the exact location of files within the storage system and does not expect solutions to manage the movement of the files themselves in permanent storage.

 

A.14. R41 states "The solution enables authorised Library staff to deaccession managed content, including items, parts of items or access copies". Does this mean restricting end user access rights?

Q.14. Deaccessioning refers to removing content items or parts of items from the Library’s collections, and recording the removal. This may involve actual deletion of all copies of content from permanent storage, or making soft deletions – such that all copies of content are no longer accessible by any user, including end users and all  Library staff users. The Library would not expect to deaccession access copies alone without deaccessioning masters as well. 

Solutions are to support retention of metadata for deaccessioned content, however, including a record of deaccessioning.

 

Q.15. R44 states "The solution enables Library staff to schedule or run ad hoc analyses on content and metadata". Can the Library please provide examples of the analysis on content and metadata?

A.15. Examples of analysis (which includes using tools that may not be part of the general configuration) include: 

  • Running regular routine analyses, such as integrity check verification;
  • Running updated versions of configured analysis tools – for example, for file format identification, format validation or virus scanning with updated signature files to provide updated metadata;
  • Running specialised tools for particular types of content (e.g. audio analysis tools, link analysis tools for harvested web content); and
  • Supporting analysis of existing recorded metadata – for example, if low level audio technical metadata is maintained as XML file content rather than within a database, supporting querying and analysis of this metadata.

 

Q.16. R64 states "The solution enables Library staff to manage relationships between digital objects for delivery purposes and make choices about how they will be delivered in context". Does this refer to delivery rules and using different viewers for different types of content?

A..16. The Library expects to be able to present and deliver combinations of content in context within delivery systems – for example, to present and deliver together within a navigational context: an item within a collection of items; an item and its constituent parts (e.g. pages); an item and parallel presentations, such as an oral history sound recording and its transcript; and an item and other thematically related items.

The Library does not necessarily expect solutions to directly apply delivery rules on how content is to be presented and to provide delivery viewers for content – this is expected to be part of development of delivery systems and outside the scope of this RFT. However, the Library does expect solutions to support recording and maintenance of relationship metadata supporting a range of contexts, including multiple contexts for an item, and to supply this metadata to delivery systems for subsequent content presentation.

 

Q.17. R66 states "The solution supports arrangement and description of content". Can the Library provide examples of content guides, finding aids or other descriptive lists?

A.17. The Library expects solutions to support provision of access points to collection content, for example:

 

Q.18. R93 states "The solution supports delivery of packaged content and metadata for viewing offline)". Can the Library please provide an example of this?

A.19. The Library expects to be able to supply content and metadata describing both individual files and the item or collection for offline use – for example:

  • Provide bundled copies of audio content and corresponding transcripts to end users where access restrictions prevent public online delivery. Example (transcript delivery not currently supported): Mem Fox interviewed by Rob Linn: http://nla.gov.au/nla.oh-vn3603882 .
  • Provide bundled copies of digitised content and associated finding aids to other institutions or individuals: Example, Papers of Patrick White – MS 9982: http://nla.gov.au/nla.ms-ms9982 (see especially, digitised content available in Series 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.ms-ms9982-2 ).

Appropriate ‘packaging’ means are not prescribed and are yet to be determined.

 

Q.19. R101 states "The solution enables enrichment of content, including text corrections and annotations contributed by library users, to be collected and maintained with the content". Will this be part of the integration with Trove and discovery tools or through a direct functionality of the asset management system?

A.19. The Library expects that discovery and delivery systems will provide mechanisms to collect enrichment data and support automated supply in formats suitable for ingest and management as content. Solutions are expected to be capable of supporting ingest and management of enrichment data supplied in this way.

 

Q.20. R151 states "The solution supports preservation actions which involve revising or removing the preservation intent to support individual items or sets of managed content, or deaccessioning content from collections". What does “revising or removing the preservation intent” mean?

A.20. The Library expects that for some content, appropriate preservation 'action' may be to implement a change of curatorial policy on whether to preserve particular content – for example, to later decide that copies of content in a particular file format (e.g. .exe) within a particular collection do not need to be preserved, or do not need to be preserved beyond current usable life. ‘Action’ would in this case require the ability to select and update the metadata indicating these preservation constraints for particular content items or sets of content items.

 

Friday 9 December 2011

Q.21. Can you please provide a copy of the Schedule 2 template in MS Word format?

A.21. The downloadable RFT documentation package now contains the Schedule 2 template in MS Word format.

 

Q.22. R175 states “The solution scans text based collection material to produce digital page images from microfilm reels, original hard copy newspaper, books, journals and other printed materials, including maps and ephemera with both text and pictorial content.” and R176 states “The solution generates high quality greyscale and/or bi-tonal and/or colour TIFF images according to digitisation and preservation quality standards established by the Library”.

Does this mean that the vendor has to deliver scanning equipment as well? Or does the Library already work with scan equipment? If so, can you please provide details relating to the this equipment?

A.22. This RFT is for digital library software solutions and therefore excludes physical equipment and hardware. Digitisation solutions must work with popular and best-of-breed scanning equipment.

 

Monday 12 December 2011

Q.23. Can you please clarify if Library currently has a site licence for Oracle?

A.23. The Library does not currently have a site licence for Oracle.

 

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Q.24. The questions in Schedule 3.3,  General Technical Requirements, A3.9 (R268 and R269) appear to only apply to the Digitisation Systems for Printed Materials scope. Could you please confirm that it is not necessary to answer these questions if you do not intend to bid for this scope.

A.24. Yes, we can confirm that those requirements are only relevant if bidding for the Digitisation Systems scope.