Defra picks £55m ‘digital delivery partner’

Department appoints firm to support delivery of key services

Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has picked Kainos as its “digital delivery partner”, and awarded the Belfast-headquartered IT services firm a two-year contract worth £54.5m.

The contract comes into effect today, and lasts until 31 May 2023. Defra also has the option to extend the deal by six months.

Alongside Kainos, the deal also lists five other digital transformation specialists as designated sub-contractors: Clarasys; Made Tech; Hippo Digital; BJSS; and Redrock Consulting.

Between, the companies will help the department “develop and support key services for [its] Europe and Trade… and Future Farming and Countryside portfolios”.

This will include platforms related to “trade services… imports, exports, data and reporting services, common platforms, centralised WebOps, and chemicals”. 

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Defra has had one of the biggest Brexit-related workloads of any department, including the development or revamping of various major technology platforms and new digital services.

This includes new IT systems for the importation and export of food and plants to and from the UK. Before this year, traders bringing fruit, vegetables or plants into this country use the PEACH system to manage the import process. The eDomero platform is the equivalent tool for exports and, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the digital service can address users’ need for services such as “plant passporting, potato classification, certification and import licensing”.

In the early part of this year, each of these systems was replaced: IPAFFS is now used by importers of “live animals, animal products and high risk food and feed not of animal origin”; while the EHC Online service will allow exporters to obtain certificates for trade with the remaining EU member states, as well as other countries around the world.

These will be among the key services supported by the £54.5m contract.


Sam Trendall

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