Police forces in England and Wales are having to switch IT procurement from the Buying Solutions' Commodity IT Hardware and Software (CITHS) framework in favour of the SPRINT ii agreement.
CITHS came into effect in March 2010, with 20 suppliers offering PCs, IT infrastructure and software.
But according to Computer Weekly's sister title, MicroScope, the Home Office is now instructing police forces that previously bought through CITHS to procure volume hardware and software via SPRINT ii.
The coalition last month laid before Parliament The Police Act 1995 (Equipment Regulation) 2011, which came into force on 4 March, stating: "The Act sets out the mandatory use by police forces (where no existing contractual arrangements exist) of the SPRINT ii f/work."
A Home Office spokesman said SPRINT ii was "chosen to be the mandated vehicle for the police force purchase of commoditised hardware and commercial off-the-shelf software, for the primary reason that, based on benchmarking undertaken, it represented the best value for money".
He said the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) undertook this measurement exercise, and price, exclusive of VAT, was analysed for each framework.
"SPRINT ii is an open-book framework, therefore giving forces full transparency over the cost price paid by the supplier. As a single supplier framework, Sprint ii allows for the complete capture of management information and generates significant resource savings for forces in not requiring them to compete via mini-competition," he added.