Atos Origin will take over the design, building and operation of the Home Office department's IT infrastructure, including helpdesks, networks and applications. The supplier plans to work with the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and its other IT suppliers to increase collaborative working and improve IT performance.
"Atos Origin demonstrated to us that it has the expertise and understanding to successfully deliver the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's IT," said Home Office minister Des Browne. "Investing in its infrastructure is part of the directorate's drive to continually improve the working environment for its staff as well as ensuring value for money,"
In February 2001, the government cancelled a major immigration service IT system intended to help clear the UK's 66,000 backlog of asylum seekers.
The Immigration and Nationality Directorate's casework application programme was at the heart of a complex public finance initiative IT and business process re-engineering contract signed with Siemens Business Services in April 1996 for implementation by October 1998.
Part of an effort to introduce a paperless office, it was intended to speed up refugee and asylum applications and save the taxpayer at least £110m. However, the directorate pulled the plug on the project after a series of problems with the system. An interim system was introduced by Siemens in 2000.