Department looks to enhance use of data products
The Home Office has signed a £40m deal to help develop and enhance data and analytics products for use across the department.
In autumn 2021, the Home Office’s Data Services and Analytics (DSA) unit first outlined its desire to sign an agreement with a single supplier “for the provision of end-to-end data product development and associated services across DSA’s current and future portfolio of products and customers”.
Following several market engagement exercises followed by a tender process, the department has now signed an initial four-year contact with PA Consulting. The deal came into effect on 1 December and is valued at £40m.
According to procurement documents, the tech consultancy will support the work of the Home Office data services unit by providing “product teams that can deliver new products and enhance existing products”. These teams should be comprised of experts that are “proficient with cloud-based technologies, building and using data pipelines and large data sets, using agile methodologies, and [who can] also provide third-line support and DevOps product support”.
The contract has been put in place as “DSA products are growing in their uptake and business-criticality”.
“They are all at various stages of maturity and are becoming more reusable, with more shared code, and are becoming more able to serve multiple Home Office customers rather than single business areas,” the procurement notice added. “Thus, there is a need to grow and mature existing products and to build on the development work done already to deliver new products and services to the wider Home Office.”
In the early stages of the engagement, the supplier is likely to be asked to assist with work focused on supporting Border Force operations. Over time, this is likely to expand to include other service areas delivered by the Home Office.
The deal with PA Consulting was the second major contract signed by the DSA unit last year, following the April 2022 award of a £55m contract to Capgemini. That engagement is intended to support the use of data and analytics in the “transformation of [immigration] casework”. The deal also covers support for the ongoing operation of the Warnings Index – a controversial watchlist of foreign nationals considered by the department to be persons of interest to law enforcement and immigration authorities.
PA Consulting, meanwhile, also holds a separate £30m, two-year contract with the Home Office to serve as the department’s primary partner in the “technical delivery management” of digital, data and technology services.
That deal came into effect on 1 February 2022 and will see the consultancy firm support the delivery of “a range of internal and public facing services from discovery to live”.