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Online tender information not new on market

The Editor
Your front page article headlined ‘…bridges digital divide’ on 12 December 2014 is a poorly disguised advertorial promoting a foreign-owned operation entering the tender information dissemination sphere.
It is bringing nothing new or special to the market.
Instead, it is replicating what others have been doing for years – with an exorbitant pricing model obviously  aimed at extracting maximum profits from Namibia’s tendering community.
The whole locally–owned ‘Namibia Tender Bulletin’ and ‘Tender Exchange’ would therefore appreciate similar prominent exposure in your newspaper.

The ‘ Tender Bulletin ‘ was established in 1992, as Namibia’s only procurement publication of record, providing up-to-date, comprehensive tender information, promoting public procurement transparency, while the ‘ Tender Exchange ‘ has been operating since 1998, providing a 24/7 dedicated e-mail tender information service to hundreds of subscribers locally and internationally.

Your reporter’s claim that the “traditional business model for tenders” is fully paper- based, as claimed by new “ digital start -up”, is therefore false and misleading.
Since ‘ The Economist ‘ was kind enough to publish the subscription rates for the new service provider, may we point out that subscribers to the ‘Tender Exchange’ continue to receive email tender information – after 16 years – for a fraction of the newcomer’s fees from as little as N$414.00 annually – about one Namibia dollar a day. In fact, subscribers to the ‘Tender Bulletin’ get limited email coverage free of charge.
The newcomer also promises “opening prices” of tenders submitted.
The ‘Tender Bulletin’ has published bids on publicly announced tenders for the past 22 years, while our electronic database is a valuable business resource, regularly utilized by our subscribers and third party researchers.
Both the ‘ Tender Bulletin ‘ and the ‘ Tender Exchange’ have built up a reputable track record over decades, and while we are not afraid of competition, we insist on fair business practices, especially from your publication, claiming to be the ‘Custodian of Business Intelligence’.
We’re looking forward to your positive response, failing which we will avail ourselves to the Media Ombudsman.
David Pieters & Anita Schmid
Publishers and owners of Namibia Tender Bulletin & The Tender Exchange

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