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The Home Office is to extend its outsourcing contract with Fujitsu for two more years to ensure a “smooth transition” to new suppliers.
This is the second time it has extended the contract, which was first signed in 2000 and was originally due to expire this year.
The extension will see Fujitsu continue to provide hardware and technical support to about 70% of users at the Home Office, which also has a large systems integrator contract with Atos.
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This is in line with the Cabinet Office and Government Digital Service calling for the end of longstanding government IT outsourcing deals, such as the Fujitsu contract.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said the department was still keen to move away from large outsourcing deals and to use smaller suppliers.
“The Home Office is committed to delivering excellent services and value for money for the taxpayer,” the spokesperson said. “That is why we are ending the culture of awarding large IT contracts to single suppliers and instead working towards smaller, more flexible agreements with a broader list of companies.
“As we make this change, it is important to ensure a smooth transition to these new services. We have therefore extended the transition period of our Fujitsu contract until April 2018.”
Earlier this year, the Cabinet Office began a review to establish new principles to help manage the move away from the many long-term outsourcing contracts that are due to expire during the current parliament.
But although it is widely acknowledged that the government needs to move away from large outsourcing deals, some departments are finding the transition more challenging than expected.
Earlier this year, HM Revenue and Customs found it had to take a phased approach to exiting its £600m-a-year Aspire contract with Capgemini and Fujitsu, with some services running until 2020 – three years beyond its planned 2017 exit.