One Login: GDS spends £20m on duo of deals for software and security support

With rollout of new system to be accelerated over the coming months, the Government Digital Service has signed commercial engagements cumulatively worth £35m in recent days to support project delivery

The Government Digital Service has signed deals worth almost £20m to support its delivery of the One Login system over the coming months.

On 7 August, GDS entered into two 24-months contracts for the respective provision of software engineering and security services, according to newly published procurement documents.

The larger of two engagements, worth up to £9.5m plus VAT, was awarded to digital and cyber consultancy 6point6, which has been contracted to provide “technical architecture and security services” to the One Login programme. GDS last year awarded the company a £3m deal covering the delivery of similar services to support its work to implement the new government-wide login platform.

The new contract – which can be extended for a further six months beyond its August 2025 conclusion – will see the consultancy serve as “a supplier of architecture and security capability to work with the [GDS] digital identity programme to provide cloud technical architecture and cloud security architecture resources to work on outcomes that support the wider programme delivery, in parallel to building sustainable in-house capability to further extend and run services post contract end”, the contract-award notice said.

On the same day as signing this agreement, GDS also awarded a contract to Capgemini for the provision of “DevOps support”. That deal – which like the security architecture contract runs for two years, plus an optional six months – will be worth £8m, unless GDS invokes an option to terminate the contract after £5m has been spent.

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The engagement requires the services firm “to work with the One Login for Government programme to develop and embed DevOps mindset and culture in its very broadest sense, embracing the core SRE (site reliability engineering) principles, that are already embedded, by providing leadership, strategic capability and appropriate hands on engineering expertise to set up our engineering support practice for success”.

Government procurement records indicate that this is Capgemini’s first contract related to the One Login programme. The firm joins rivals PA Consulting and Deloitte – both of which has multimillion-pound deals to serve as “capability delivery partners” – among the project’s biggest commercial providers.

The award of the DevOps and security services contracts comes just a few days after it was revealed that GDS had taken its spending with Deloitte to support the One Login programme to more than £35m, after signing a £16m one-year deal with the firm on 21 July.

That engagement is set to cover a period of significant growth in the usage of the new login tool, which is currently used by eight government services, through which more than 800,000 user accounts have been created.

The target is for all services across all departments to adopt the platform by 2025, with major organisations including HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions slated to begin rolling out One Login across their services within the next year.

Once the system is up and running, it will replace an existing patchwork of 191 separate accounts systems and 44 login methods used by government services. It was recently revealed that government expects the delivery of One Login to cost £305m – while ultimately delivering £1.75bn in benefits.

Sam Trendall

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