To ensure effective and efficient delivery of IT products and services for public institutions’ consumption, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has organized a one-day workshop. The workshop centered on Guidelines for the Introduction of Service Level Agreement (SLA) into Government Information Technology Contracts.

The engagement was to develop the compliance culture to SLA in government IT contracts. It drew participants from Lawyers and Information and Communication Technology professionals in the Federal Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

In his keynote address, the NITDA’s Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, represented by Acting Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Dr. Aristotle Onumo, disclosed that NITDA intended to familiarize the participants with the guidelines to improve further compliance to better service delivery in the IT sector.

He said, “We are here to understand and agree on how to draft standard SLAs to ensure the provision of adequate warranty, after-sales service agreement on our IT products and services, and adequate provisions for downtime and after-sales support.”

Inuwa noted that developing a guideline for introducing SLA into Government Information Contracts has become imperative because of “the significant role IT has played in this economy in recent years.”

While citing the pivotal roles the sector played in lifting the Nigerian economy out of recession with the recording the highest growth rate in the 4th quarter of 2020, Inuwa opined that “there is a need to protect consumers in the sector.”

The Director-General further admitted that the workshop would practically elaborate on drafting SLAs in government contracts for IT products and services. “This we believe will help achieve our goals of developing the culture of use and compliance to SLA in government IT contracts.”

It might interest you to know that Guidelines for the Introduction of Service Level Agreement into Government Information Technology Contracts are issued in consonance with Section 6a, 17, 18(4) and 32 of the NITDA Act 2007, and when breached, it is regarded as a breach of the Act.

According to the resource persons, the duo of Ukauzo Augustine and Ikechukwu Maledo pointed out that the objectives of the SLA Guidelines are to ensure that; IT projects in government are implemented and supported in a sustainable and timely manner. And that IT services to government are of consistently good quality, delivered to the government to get the best value for investments in technology and digital technology assets, while government investments are protected.

Clauses in the Guidelines are; the obligation of both parties, limitations to the transfer of responsibilities of the parties, clearly defined scope, crisis management and dispute resolution mechanism, payment schedule in line with milestones, obligations within the duration of SLAs, disclosures, among others.