This is why US government IT costs so much and takes so long
The RFP process takes years and requires literally hundreds (if not thousands) of pages of responses. In most cases these will have to be hand delivered, printed on paper, in dozens of copies. There will be endless meetings, contract negotiations, etc. and then when the award is announced, the losers appeal - which is what happened here.
So now the government and vendors have spent literally years, killed a forest of trees, wasted yes of thousands of person hours and the need is no closer to being met than it was before the process started.
NZ government is an order of magnitude smaller (and less corrupt) but they appear to have the right idea with all of government contracts and standardized offerings.