Home Office signs £23m software support deal for key immigration system database

Contract covers the delivery of increased internal capability for department

Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0 

The Home Office has signed a long-term multimillion-pound deal to ensure technical support for the database of individuals’ information that underpins the UK’s borders and immigration system.

Newly published procurement information reveals that, at the start of this month, the department entered into an initial four-year contract with Cognizant. The engagement, which can be extended by an additional 12 months at the Home Office’s discretion, will be worth at least £23.1m to the tech services firm.

The deal covers level 3 support – the most technically specialised tier of support – for the Person Centric Data Platform (PCDP), a major system which serves as “a central storage platform for all person-centred data for migration and Borders, which includes historic data from legacy systems and all new data from migration and borders applications”, according to departmental documents.

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The PCDP, which was developed as part of the wider £500m Immigration Platform Technologies (IPT) programme to revamp all of the UK’s visa and immigration IT systems, is intended to provide a “single view of individuals to around 700 services, and this single view is crucial to the protection of our borders”.

Over the coming four years, Cognizant has been retained to offer round-the-clock “Level 3 Support for the PCDP to ensure continued live services, continued development and testing”, according to the text of the contract.

The firm will be asked to provide the Home Office with “a resourcing team with architects, Dev/DataOps and test resources [and] will be expected to support and drive the planned building of an in-house capability by the end of the contract”.

Other platforms and services being delivered as part of the IPT project – the delivery date for which has been pushed back by more than two years to December 2023 – include Atlas, a new immigration caseworking system for the UK, and Access UK, a unified online application service for individuals.

Sam Trendall

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