Home Office gauges ‘market appetite for taking on’ legacy police intel database

Department publishes notice outlining need to ‘ensure continuity’ of national system for sharing information on major crimes that is currently managed by CGI under a £70m contract expiring in 2026

The Home Office is seeking to engage with tech suppliers in order to gauge “market appetite” for taking over the management of a national legacy data system collating police intelligence on major crimes.

The Police National Database (PND) stores intelligence and policing operational data, with a particular focus on sharing information related to child abuse, terrorism, and serious organised crime. Work on developing the system was led by Logica – which was acquired in 2012 by CGI, the company that remains under contract to manage the PND.

That £70m engagement expires in March 2026 and the Home Office has released an early engagement notice informing potential suppliers that it needs to take action to “ensure the continuity” of the platform beyond this date.

Between now and then, work is taking place to revamp elements of the legacy system and move it to a newly created dedicated cloud environment.

“The PND is currently undertaking a transformation programme designed to increase scalability, update [or] replace legacy components, and migrate to the Home Office’s Law Enforcement Cloud Platform,” the notice said. “This procurement is for a service and technical integrator to manage the ‘cloud-based’ PND service as well as deliver a continuous change pipeline to develop its capabilities and may also include some residual transformation activity, depending on a range of known factors influencing completion.”

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Ahead of commencing a formal bidding process to appoint such a company, the department is seeking input from potential suppliers. Initially, this will take the form of an online “market engagement session” to be hosted on 14 November in conjunction with techUK.

The intent of this engagement is to: understand market appetite for taking on an existing application and system – albeit transformed and updated with modernised architectural components and software applications; understand the market capability to take on existing ‘legacy’ systems, fully transformed systems, or partially transformed systems; connect SMEs with other SMEs and/or larger suppliers who may be interested in collaborating with each other in order to deliver a high profile area of critical national infrastructure; [and] seek input for the identification, mitigation and potential management of risks throughout the procurement and contract management lifecycles.”

Any suppliers wishing to take part in the engagement session must first register on the Home Office’s dedicated procurement portal, and then submit a formal expression of interest. Firms will also be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The PND was created to serve as a complementary system to the Police National Computer – which houses tens of millions of formal evidential records. In 2016 the Home Office launched a major project to replace both databases with a single unified platform: the Law Enforcement Data Service (LEDS).

This programme of work was originally due to be completed in 2020 but, following a comprehensive reset almost three years ago, the delivery date has been pushed back to December 2025 – three months before support for PNC is currently due to cease. Replacement of the comparatively modern 12-year-old PND has also been removed from the scope of the LEDS project, to allow for focus on decommissioning PNC – which, next year, passes the milestone of 50 years in operation.

The department recently revealed that it had decided against taking forward plans to put in place a multimillion-pound contingency plan to ensure continuity of PNC if delivery of LEDS is pushed back again.

Sam Trendall

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