Emergency Services Network completion pushed back to December 2024
Motorola to receive extra £82m for further work and use of Kodiak product
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The Home Office has extended its deadline for the completion of its delayed Emergency Services Network by a year to December 2024 and will adopt supplier Motorola’s off-the-shelf Kodiak product, it has emerged.
The Home Office's existing contract to introduce ESN had been due to expire in December 2023 at the latest. But in a contract award notice published this week, the department said a year’s extension would allow its full introduction to the emergency services and “avoid the risk of impacting on the benefits of the service to the users”.
The extension increases the cost of the contract from £319m to £401m. The Home Office said that the extra costs consisted of £44m for the one-year extension, £12m for use of Motorola’s Kodiak product and £26m for other capabilities to allow delivery including hardware for testing.
Justifying the extra spending, the department said moving to the already-working Kodiak product “de-risks delivery and enables the programme to move to a standardised solution faster”. It added: “The Home Office considers this variation represents the best option for securing delivery as early as possible.”
Motorola was awarded the contract to develop and introduce an app providing "push to talk" functionality and data services on emergency services employees’ mobile devices in 2015. The Home Office said that renegotiating this contract, rather than holding an open competition, represented the best option for a range of technical reasons, including the fact that the technical interface between the existing communications network, Airwave, and ESN, which will replace it, is owned by Motorola.
“There is no reasonable alternative to procuring these services from Motorola: the Home Office’s assessment is that, were it to use a different provider for all of these services, full rollout would be delayed by approximately five years (including the time needed to procure a new provider),” it said, along with an extra cost of approximately £2.6bn.
Motorola acquired Kodiak Solutions, a specialist provider of push-to-talk mobile services, in August 2017.
Work began on the ESN project in 2011, with migration for police, fire, and ambulance services having been due to start in the summer of 2018 and completed by the end of this year. A National Audit Office report in September 2018 said that delays were costing the Home Office’s police budget £330m a year, due to the cost of maintaining the current Airwave system.
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