The Environment Agency has extended the contract it has had with Capgemini since 2009 for another 18 months.
The agency, alongside the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, announced last year that it was taking steps to replace its long-term, single supplier contract with a multi-supplier approach.
The aim is to bring in new suppliers, and for the organisations to work together to reduce duplication and cost, and they have set up an internal programme, UnITy, to manage procurement.
In a statement, Capgemini said that extension of the contract– which was due to end in February 2017, but will now run to August 2018 – would help the Environment Agency transition process.
The extended contract will allow the agency “to carry out due diligence as part of its tendering process for new suppliers as it transitions to a multi-sourced supply of IT services”, the statement said.
It added that Capgemini would assist with Defra’s digital transformation programme.
Christine Hodgson, the UK chairman of Capgemini, saying that this new element “could also allow us to take on a wider brief and explore industry-leading solutions for the benefit of both the agency and the end user”.
Meanwhile, Defra’s chief technology officer said that the extension “represents an excellent deal for us both”.
He said: “It will enable a smooth transition of services across Defra and the Environment Agency, and provide us with a greater level of resilience, business continuity and stability, essential for our business, our teams and our customers.”
In a recent blogpost, Howes announced the “biggest procurement yet” for UnITy, for Defra’s hosting and application support services, which wil involve hosting 355 applications and supporting infrastructure services to 21,000 users.
He added, though, that the work would be “a journey of incremental improvements, not a ‘big bang’ transformational event”.