HM Treasury has handed a four-year media and wireless contract, understood to be worth around £2.5m, to Hampshire-based services provider Centerprise, under the auspices of its ICT 2015 contracts.
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The ICT 2015 programme kicked off in August 2013 and, as Computer Weekly reported at the time, was designed to help put an end to the so-called oligopoly of large providers with a stranglehold on government IT.
In December 2013, the Treasury revealed its previous contract with Fujitsu was not to be renewed in a triple whammy that also saw the services provider lose its grip on the Cabinet Office and the Department of Environment and Climate Change.
The contract will cover support and maintenance of the 1HGR Wireless service; support and maintenance of the service that distributes TV feeds around the Treasury’s offices; video-conferencing and telepresence services; an upgrade of onsite meeting room support services, and supporting and maintaining a number of particular IT services, including the Trainline and Reuters.
The appointment of Centerprise marked a clear indication of the government’s commitment to pushing 25% of its IT procurement through SMEs, according to the Crown representative for SMEs Stephen Allot.
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“One of the perennial hurdles to SMEs getting a foothold on the government’s procurement ladder is the large contract sizes. Cutting the contract pie, enabling them to have a slice, is a key way to open up the market to this sector,” he explained.
“I’m delighted that HM Treasury is leading the way in making its procurement processes more accessible, while getting full value from SMEs. It’s an important way of opening the door to them,” added Allot.
“This is just the first step towards changing the way IT works at HM Treasury. It is also the first step in implementing government’s new approach to IT, including the more common use of direct contracts with SME partners,” said Treasury CIO Karen Delafield.
This will be the first time that Centerprise, which celebrated its 30th birthday last year, has landed a central government contract, said business manager Jeremy Nash.
“This is a flagship contract for us and we are truly excited at the prospect of working with HM Treasury to ensure the ICT 2015 Programme is a success.
“It was evident to me from the outset that this procurement was made accessible to SMEs and that this was a good fit for our core capabilities,” said Nash.
The Treasury revealed that around 100 companies had expressed an interest in bidding for ICT 2015 contracts, of which approximately 33 were SMEs.