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Met Police cancels command and control system contract with Northrop Grumman

The Met Police command and control system contract with Northrop Grumman has been cancelled as there is “no prospect of a finished product being delivered” in time

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) has scrapped the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) contract for a new command and control system with supplier Northrop Grumman.

In November last year, Computer Weekly revealed that the MPS was stuck with its 30-year-old command and control system for three more years after serious delays to the replacement system - which was originally due to go live in October 2015. The new software has now been cancelled entirely. The decision to end the multimillion-pound contract was taken earlier this month, an MPS spokesperson told Computer Weekly.

“The contract was terminated on the basis of the supplier's failure to deliver the command and control system in accordance with the contract, including its failure to deliver in time for the originally planned October 2015 go-live date,” the spokesperson said.

“There was no prospect of a finished product being delivered before the expiry of the contract term on 18 March 2016.” 

According to the Met Police, Northrop Grumman has disputed MOPAC’s right to terminate the contract. The MPS said that MOPAC stands by its decision “and is seeking immediate repayment of milestone payments from Northrop Grumman." 

“MOPAC is also minded to pursue a claim against Northrop Grumman for costs and damages arising from the supplier's failure to deliver a command and control solution in accordance with the contract,” the spokesperson added.

The deputy mayor for policing, Stephen Greenhalgh, told Computer Weekly that while he was disappointed to be in this situation, "I am absolutely clear that we are right to terminate this relationship and to find another way to deliver this service."

"I am reassured that we have a realistic prospect of recovering costs and am confident that the service to the public will not be affected," he said.  

The MPS went out to tender for a nine-year deal for a replacement command and control system in 2011, the first major change to the system for 30 years.

In 2013, it chose technology company Northrop Grumman as the supplier for the core application, and signed a £90m contract in 2014 with Lockheed Martin as systems integrator for the project.

Computer Weekly previously reported one of the main reasons for the delay was that Northrop Grumman has had problems in customising the software, according to sources.

Another source claimed that the suppliers were asking for more money to get the job done, but Computer Weekly was unable to verify that information at the time.

In September 2015, the MPS signed a three-year extension with current supplier Unisys, and the existing system is now undergoing “further modernisation". The Met Police said it is also looking at “alternative options to meet its longer-term operational requirements”.

Lockheed Martin, Unisys and Northrop Grumman have all been approached for comment.

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