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Compaq out, Microsoft in on Gateway project

Cabinet Office announces it is going to manage the Government Gateway project and join up Whitehall's back-office IT systems itself

The Cabinet Office has announced that it is going to manage the Government Gateway project and join up Whitehall's back-office IT systems itself.

The decision came after the Office of Government Commerce pulled the plug on a Compaq-led consortium, which had been named as preferred bidder for the project in June.

The Cabinet Office will create an experienced project management team to direct third parties, with Microsoft emerging as lead partner. It will provide design, integration and build services.

Cable & Wireless, which, like Microsoft, was part of the Compaq consortium, will provide the supporting infrastructure and host the early operational service. Viacode, Royal Mail's digital security service, will provide initial authentication services based around digital certificates. PA Consulting will deliver support services.

The Cabinet Office said initial services through Gateway will be made available next year, with the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise offering the first transactional processes.

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