Advisory to Government Agency on Restrictive Tender Specifications

CCCS found that competition concerns could arise from a government agency’s tender specifications. It was discovered that an incumbent computer system provider, one that was also competing in tenders for hardware replacement, could deny competing bidders access to the system or charge prohibitively high prices for access, preventing third-party hardware providers from competing effectively.

CCCS suggested that tender specifications for computer systems should require the provider to quote for fees for third-party access, and to justify where such access is denied. This would discourage the provider from charging an excessive price or refusing access to competing providers in the future. The provider could also be required to charge fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) prices or cost-recovery prices to other providers that require access to the system.