Ministry of Justice awards £125m end user computing deal to Atos

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has awarded Atos a four-year contract worth £125 million for end user computing services.

The department has been working on the deal for about three years, as part of its ‘Future IT Sourcing’ or ‘FITS’ programme.

The search for a supplier was cancelledand the entire procurement process went back to the drawing board in June 2013 after an intervention by HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office.

Atos was on the shortlist of suppliers during the previous round of procurement before it was scrapped, as were HP, Fujitsu and Computacenter.

The procurement re-launched without datacentre or LAN services and with a focus on increasing engagement with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), either directly or as sub-contractors, as per Cabinet Office policy to increase the amount Whitehall spends with SMEs to 25 percent.

“Unfortunately, for the core EUC tower, the department ended up with less rather than more choice. Computacenter decided not to bid again. And no additional suppliers were attracted by the opportunity”, Georgina O’Toole, director at analyst house TechMarketView, explained

The official notice stated that the French IT giant “will provide the MoJ's centralised and distributed computing environment for both hardware and common workplace productivity applications.”

Atos will be responsible for “future IT sourcing” and end user computing services, including devices, peripherals, smartphone support and distributed platforms to support business applications, it added.

An MoJ spokesperson told ComputerworldUK that Atos will be responsible for providing end user computing services to about 90,000 users across its estate.

“The MoJ and Atos will now enter a period of planning that will enable transition to a new way of working during 2015”, he added.

The contract is one of a number of ‘service towers’, where the MoJ’s ICT needs are split up into separate contracts, such as networks, hosting, application development and service integration and management (SIAM).

As part of the FITS programme, the MoJ awarded CGI a three-year deal for hosting estimated to be worth between £54m and £78m in May this year.

In September 2013 Lockheed Martin beat IBM to win a £125 million MoJ deal for SIAM services. It is understood to have partnered with Cadence Partnership, Skyscape and Atos on the bid.

Atos already provides major infrastructure services to the MoJ under a 10 year deal worth about £500 million.

In May ComputerworldUK revealedthat the MoJ did not know what services were delivered and paid for within the contract, with an internal report concluding that there was a “risk of material errors or irregularities in charging, or a significant operational failure”.

O’Toole said: “It is likely that the MoJ will look to oversee this latest contract very differently and with much more rigour…we can expect much more emphasis on transparency within FITS.”

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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