MoJ lays out £45m to retain Atos for up to 18 months while it finishes disaggregation work

Written by Sam Trendall on 1 December 2017 in News
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Department claims that giving French SI a contract extension – without competitive process – is ‘only viable route’ to completing decoupling process

Credit: Charles Hoffman/Creative Commons

The Ministry of Justice has paid £45m to retain Atos for at least another year while it finishes work to disaggregate the IT services currently provided by the systems integrator and migrate them to new providers.

The MoJ recently awarded the company the French-headquartered company the new one-year deal without any competitive process. The department explained that this was not “as a result of an artificial narrowing down of the parameters of the procurement”, but rather was part of a programme of change that could not be successfully completed without extending its existing arrangements.

For a 12-month period that began about six weeks ago, Atos has been tasked with providing “ICT services to support the management of court services in England and Wales, prior to the transition of those ICT services to the Ministry of Justice's common ICT infrastructure”. The scale of the services provided is expected to reduce over the course of the deal, which can be extended by a further six months, but will not last longer than 18 months, the MoJ said. Its estimated value is pegged at £45m.


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“Whilst a number of the services that formed part of the original contract have been transitioned to the contracting authority's replacement suppliers, a number of services are yet to be transitioned,” the MoJ said. “These services continue to be required for a defined period beyond 18 October 2017, to enable the exit, decommissioning, and phased transition of the services to long-term replacement suppliers and to give the authority flexibility with respect to the authority's revised ICT strategy from 2019 onwards.”

The ministry added that it believes that, given the complexity of the services and the comparative brevity of the contract, using a supplier other than Atos is “not feasible”. Thus, the “only viable route” to completing the disaggregation project was to hand the company an extension without putting the contract out to tender.

“The exiting services come at the end of a complex, high-value, extended contractual relationship,” the MoJ said. “Given this position, it is the authority's view that it is likely that the cost of appointing a different supplier would not only be prohibitive, but also that no other supplier would choose to bid for such a short-term appointment where services are expected to diminish over the term.”

In 2014 Atos won a £125m deal to deliver and support a range of end-user computing devices, storage, and security services across 2,300 MoJ sites throughout the UK.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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