Home Office signs long-term renewal for ‘disaster victim identification’ software

Department invests £80,000 in continued use of specialist technology platform

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The Home Office has signed a long-term renewal of its contract for a specialist software tool that supports the identification of victims that die in major disasters.

In the aftermath of such an event, disaster victim identification (DVI) professionals work to identify those that have died by matching information gathered post-mortem with known details of potential victims. This process is known as reconciliation.

Newly published commercial information reveals that the Home Office has signed a five-year contract for access to the PlassData software platform, which specialises in supporting reconciliation work. The £80,000 deal came into effect on 1 September and runs until 2027.

The contract notice indicates that the department was seeking a “tool which enables processing of large numbers of both AM and PM (ante-mortem and post-mortem) evidence to direct human reconciliation staff to focus their time on the most likely matches, as well as allowing a referencing system to allow this process to be conducted over multiple shifts by different individuals”.

Procurement archives show that the Home Office first bought the PlassData product in 2016; this initial one-year £15,000 deal was immediately followed by a five-year engagement. This second contract was worth £60,000 and concluded on 29 July of this year.

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The software tool is published by Danish public sector digital specialist KMD – which is part of multinational IT giant NEC.

The product’s website claims that it is “based on the globally accepted standard for DVI protocols is fully integrated with the Interpol DVI forms”.

The site adds: “PlassData DVI compares entered or imported data and pinpoints plausible matches between a large number of missing persons and decedents [or] body parts in the aftermath of mass fatality incidents. The automated data processing helps authorities save valuable time in a difficult situation.”

The UK’s primary authority dedicated identifying disaster victims is UK DVI, which is housed within the National Police Coordination Centre – a central body which manages the deployment of officers from around the country to support police response to large events or crises.

“The role of UK DVI is to coordinate the national capability of the police service to respond to mass fatality incidents in the UK,” the unit’s website says. “The team works with police services, government departments, local authorities and other agencies to do this. The unit also organises or contributes to training and exercising and coordinates the police response to mass fatality incidents overseas when requested by HM Government.”


Sam Trendall

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