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Re: Authority of developers

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 21:58:58 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200201142158.g0ELwwh03753@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Actually, I recently advised a developer to remind teh commissioner of a
> tender that under Australian law (applicable in this case) the site would be
> required to be accessible, and that this was therefore included in their
> tender.

Normally, you have to do this *before* the invitation to tender goes out++.
Most bidders will bid to the minimum interpretation of the specification,
on the assumption that the other bidders will do the same and the 
customer will not go much beyond the minimum bid.  One software house
I worked for (pre-web) would never, I think, volunteer extra in their
bid, although some might separate out the price for minimal compliance
from that for their advised solution.

After the contract is awarded, the software house I used to work for
would never volunteer weaknesses in the requirements, on the grounds
that they might not be able to recover the costs of covering them, and the
customer might cancel the whole contract, because the cost was too high.

(Some government contractors have a reputation for under-bidding and 
making their profits when the customer realises that what they have
specified is not what they need and pays for changes.)

At the employer-employee level, it may be easier to raise the issue, but,
if the employer says no, the employee has to restrict accessibility to 
that which doesn't increase costs or timescales, and can expect it to
be broken by the first person who maintains the code.

Although I don't know the precise law in the UK, another issue is that
business to business contracts are assumed to be made on an informed 
basis, and a lot of consumer protection doesn't apply to them.  It could,
for example, be that the commissioner is contracting for the accessibility
features elsewhere, or has special dispensations, etc.

++ In a sales awareness course I attended, I was told that the bidder 
most likely to succeed is the one that helped prepare the ITT.
Received on Monday, 14 January 2002 17:30:51 UTC

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