NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) today announced it had awarded the contract for the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) project to Capita.
The scheme is set to connect more than 4,600 sites across the public sector, such as schools, GP surgeries and local council offices, on to one network, enabling organisations to cut costs and improve performance.
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The deal will be worth £110m to Capita, which put in a joint bid with partner Updata Infrastructure, but the NHS NSS claimed it could reach as much £325m as more bodies join up.
The award has been a long time coming thanks to litigation being taken out against the NHS NSS by BT, a shortlisted but failed bidder for the project.
BT protested it had lost the contract despite offering the best value for money, something the telecoms giant claimed went against regulations when it came to public sector tenders.
However, after fighting it through the Scottish Court of Commission, Lord Malcolm ruled in favour of the NHS NSS and said it should not face any further delays in awarding the contract – which had already been put back by three months.
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Last week, BT announced it would be seeking damages of £20m for the loss of the contract, asserting that it offered the best value for money when it came to SWAN.
Today the CEO of NHS NSS, Ian Crichton, said: “Following extensive dialogue over the last year, I am pleased to announce the award of the SWAN contract to Capita. This was the strongest bid and offers excellent value for money for the public purse.
“The Scottish Wide Area Network is a major step forward in Scottish public sector infrastructure, which will create major savings and deliver an excellent service. SWAN is a good deal for the Scottish taxpayer and anyone who uses public services, whether in schools, councils, hospitals or elsewhere.”
The launch date for the network was expected to be in April, but following the legal action, it is now likely to go live in Summer 2014.