Is Capgemini's flagship contract with Met Police set to be canned after scathing report?

As I blogged in March, the Met Police’s IT contract with Capgemini was being reviewed, along with other IT investments, by the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee.

The damning report was published today and doesn’t make reassuring reading for Capgemini.  Its contract with the Met takes up about a third of the Met’s IT budget at £115m a year. The contract is up for renewal in 2015 and the report published yesterday strongly suggests major changes.

This is what the report says: “The force hopes to make savings and improve performance as contracts are renewed. Many of the Met’s contracts are due to expire by 2015 and the Met hopes to replace them with cheaper alternatives. The Committee heard that police forces can reduce the cost of ICT and improve the effectiveness of police officers by changing the types of ICT contracts they draw up with suppliers.”

So change is certainly on the cards and if Capgemini continues to work with the Met contracts will look much different.

“The Met needs to review its contractual arrangements for ICT. In the past, the Met, like other police forces, locked itself into long-term contracts with single suppliers, in the hope of achieving economies of scale. These contracts have not always delivered value for money. The pace of technological change means that police forces should be drawing up short-term contracts in order to benefit from cheaper solutions that emerge from the marketplace.”

And technology developments will shake up police IT contracts according to the report.

“New developments in ICT will also alter the types of contracts that the Met needs. In the future, custom-made applications – or apps – will play an important role in police work: the Met believes that app-based technology will be around for the next five or ten years.

“And ‘cloud’ based technology – where servers are contracted on ‘pay-as-you-use’ basis – can help police forces organize their ICT more cheaply. Cloud technology is commonly used in the private sector and in some public sector organisations such as the Ministry of Defence. An industry representative told the Committee that ‘cloud technology is the future’. If it adopted this approach, the Met would pay an external IT contractor to host its data, removing the need to buy, operate and maintain its own servers.”

“New ICT contracts should have three key features. They should be flexible: the cost of technology will decrease year-on-year. Good contracts also have break points; these would enable the Met to re-assess what technology is available on the market to ensure it gets the best deal. And by ‘future-proofing’ contracts, the Met – and not just its ICT suppliers – could also benefit from new developments in technology.”