DCLG sticks with same old system integrators for IT refresh

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will contract a single outsourcing giant for its desktop management services

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has stuck with old ways of working and will contract a single outsourcing giant for its desktop management services contract.

DCLG has been given the go-ahead to refresh its IT services under the government’s Desktop 21 contract next year, which contains just three suppliers – Atos, Fujitsu and HP. The deal follows the publication of the government's IT strategy, which aims to break large contracts into smaller chunks.

The £4.5bn, four-year pan-government framework was set up in March 2010 to provide desktop services for public sector bodies with 1,500 staff or more.

The department's existing contract expires in 2013 and includes service desk, end user computing, storage, application hosting and networks. The department expects to place a three-year contract through the framework for service integration, said a spokesman.

The department said it will use the Public Sector Network (PSN) for connectivity and the ITHS hardware framework for user devices, including desktops as additional procurement vehicles. “We will be increasing our use of cloud services for application hosting in particular,” said the spokesman.

It will procure commodity software through the government procurement service and will continue to use specialist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as appropriate, he said.

“This approach supports the government IT strategy, moving towards commodity-based services procured in a flexible and transparent way,” he said.

However, critics will question how the desktop services contract aligns with the government IT strategy, which aims to move away from the old systems integrator model and broaden the market to more SMEs.  

Supplier responses to the Desktop 21 element of the procurement are expected in mid-August, said the spokesman. "We expect to progress the remaining elements of the procurement from early 2013,” he said.

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