DWP extends Universal Credit database deal with £32m contract

The department’s new engagement with incumbent supplier runs for three years and also includes provision for customised consultancy projects and training offerings, with performance to be measured on four KPIs

The Department for Work and Pensions has signed a three-year multimillion-pound contract to extend its use of the core database platform used to support the delivery of Universal Credit.

According to newly published procurement information, on 1 February the DWP entered into a new contract with MongoDB, which has provided the department with its Atlas database system for more than 10 years. The technology, which the text of the contract describes as “a fully managed database-as-a-service platform”, has been used to underpin the delivery of UC.

The contract for the ongoing use of the technology also provides for the DWP to commission “custom consulting projects”, as well as in-depth training intended to support the development of internal technical skills.

Over the course of its initial three-year term, the contract is expected to be worth £22m, plus VAT, to the supplier. If a further one-year extension is taken up, spending could rise to £32m.

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The contract states that “as part of [the DWP’s] ongoing supplier relationship management cadence, both parties will reasonably agree four key performance indicators – one specific to social value – and appropriate metrics which we will monitor and report on a quarterly basis”.

The document also provides MongoDB product information, which claims that the Atlas tool offers users “deep monitoring, query optimisation and customisable alerts.. [which] allows you to visualise and act on over 100 performance metrics, track database performance in real-time, and receive automated suggestions on how to improve slow-running queries”.

The firm also claims to offer customers “proactive, consultative support, [and] the same team that builds the database helps you throughout your entire application lifecycle”.

The DWP’s two previous contracts for the provision of Atlas have only run for one year, and each was valued in the range of £7m. Alongside these subscriptions were separate but concurrent deals worth around £200,000 and covering the consulting, support, and training services that are now provided for in the main product contract.

Sam Trendall

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