MoD and MoJ spend £100m on Oracle deals

Two of government’s biggest and most high profile departments have signed major deals for the ongoing provision – direct from the vendor – of software covering a wide range of operational needs

The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice have signed deals collectively worth almost £100m to cover the provision of Oracle technology and related services.

Both the contracts were signed direct with the software vendor itself. In the case of the MoD engagement, the deal was awarded without any competitive process.

The defence engagement, which is by far the larger of the two, will run for up to five years, with spending of up to £87.7m – once VAT is included. The deal represents a renewal of the ministry’s incumbent Oracle Enterprise Agreement, which concludes this month after three years.

In a newly published commercial notice, the MoD claimed that its decision to renew its engagement with Oracle without opening the opportunity to competition was “justified under… the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 where competition is absent for technical reasons and where the works, supplies or services can be supplied only by a particular economic operator”.

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The procurement document adds that the agreement covers the ongoing provision of a comprehensive range of “Oracle licences, cloud, hardware, services and support” used to support a wide array of the ministry’s operations.

“Oracle provide on-premises solutions used by the [MoD] for the core ERP solution for finance and procurement systems, as well as an Oracle cloud SaaS for the provision of core civilian HR, talent and performance, absence, digital assistant, learning, project and HR helpdesk, known collectively as ‘MyHR’,” the notice says. “In order to provide access to these services, the [MoD] requires software licences and support. Oracle, as the provider of the core services, is the only entity able to grant these for technical reasons and/or for reasons connected with the protection of exclusive rights.”

The software vendor’s agreement with the Ministry of Justice, meanwhile, came into effect on 6 April and will run for a period of two years. The deal is valued at about £20m and covers “Oracle maintenance and support for [the] MoJ licensed estate” of the software firm’s technology.

The ministry’s requirement is split into four discrete engagements, respectively covering services for arm’s-length bodies the Legal Aid Agency and Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, as well as the central ministry itself. The former Department for Constitutional Affairs – which has not existed as a standalone entity since the creation of the MoJ in 2007 – also has a deal dedicated to its Oracle needs.

Sam Trendall

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