HMRC completes line-up for £3bn legacy software upgrade framework

Three final lots of DALAS agreement – with a forecast worth in excess of £1bn – have been awarded to 14 providers, who will deliver a ‘large proportion’ of department’s software needs

HM Revenue and Customs has finalised a line-up of 28 suppliers on a multibillion-pound framework intended to enable the department to upgrade legacy software systems.

In a process overseen by the Crown Commercial Service, the Digital and Legacy Application Services buying vehicle was been awarded in two stages, with the first four lots being awarded to a total of 23 companies in July of last year.

Newly published commercial documents reveal that, on 4 March, contracts for the three remaining lots were signed with a total of 14 providers. Nine of these firms were already present among those chosen for the first tranche of lots, while five are featuring for the first time: Atos; Deloitte; Kerv Digital; PA Consulting; and Stellarmann – until recently known as William Alexander Consulting.

The procurement notice said: “The DALAS framework intends to provide a strategic gateway to support the delivery of future application services and move HMRC toward an application services support model that is less dependent upon legacy technologies. The framework will provide a commercial vehicle to replace existing contractual arrangements that are due to expire between September 2023 and January 2025, and will provide the basis for letting a large proportion of HMRC future application services requirements.”

The first of the three sections that has been newly awarded is lot 1, which is dedicated to “value realisation and design services”. This includes offerings such as “capability analysis and support [and] enterprise architecture advice, design and delivery support”.

Five firms feature on this lot: Accenture; CGI; Deloitte; EY; and PA Consulting.

The worth of this lot over the course of the agreement’s four-year term was initially estimated as £800m, although this was as part of an overall forecast framework value of £4.2bn – a projection which now seems to have been lowered to about £3bn.

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Also awarded in the second phase of procurement activity are lots 4a and 4b which are respectively focused on multi-product configuration services and specialist product configuration services. These lots cover the provision of “specialist support” for variety of specified software platforms used by HMRC, including Kong, NICE, Pega, ServiceNow and Documentum, as well as Microsoft’s Dynamics and Power Platform products.

Services addressed by these lots include “software Licensing validation… web hosting services, [and] configurable platform and product maintenance, support, enhancement and release management services, including AI and automation products”.

Lot 4a contains Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, Coforge, Cognizant, and Deloitte. The value of this lot was initially pegged at £700m

Lot 4b, which was forecast to be valued at £300m, features Kainos, Kerv Digital, Mercator Digital, NTT Data, and Stellarmann.

The previously awarded sections of the deal include lot 2b, which addresses areas such as software integration and user-centred design, and houses 11 providers: BAE Systems; BJSS; Coforge; Jumar Solutions; Kainos; Made Tech; NTT Data; Opencast; Scrumconnect; Softwire; and Tecknuovo.

Lot 2a, which addresses the same areas at large scale, features Accenture, Capgemini, CGI, Equal Experts, IBM, and Netcompany.

The third lot covers services including “managing augmenting and supporting” custom applications, as well as enterprise and off-the-shelf software. Suppliers on this lot are: Accenture; Capgemini; CGI; Cognizant; Eviden; and IBM.

The fifth and final lot is primarily focused on software-related training services, including a DevOps Academy, as well as education initiatives dedicated to the technology of individual vendors such as Pega, Microsoft, SAP, and ServiceNow. This lot was awarded last year to Coforge, EY, Mercator Digital, QA, and TSI.

Although the framework – which will run until 2027 features 28 different suppliers in total – was primarily designed to serve to legacy upgrade needs of HMRC, organisations across the rest of the public sector can buy through the agreement, if they so wish.

Sam Trendall

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