The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has finally contracted Atos to deliver user computing services, years after it had planned to go to market. This follows delays and confusion caused by changes imposed on the department.
The user computing services deal, worth £125m, will include providing and supporting desktops, thin clients, laptops and tablets, as well as peripheral equipment. Other services include support for mobile devices, storage, identity and access management, as well as collaboration services.
The contract was originally worth £300m and included more services, but was broken up to give smaller suppliers a chance to take a share.
However, despite the government’s plans to open government IT contracts to more suppliers, there were only two offers on the table and the award notice states it is unlikely to be subcontracting.
One source told Computer Weekly although the government were generally good at getting more suppliers involved, there had been delays and confusion caused in the MoJ contract, due to changes imposed on it.
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“The MoJ had decided its operating model a couple of years ago, but the Government Digital Service (GDS) came in and wanted it to do it a different way,” said the source. “I cannot say whether the new deal is a good one or not, but it has taken a long time to get to the position it is in today."
The source added: “The GDS is thinking too high-level and want things done its way, without really getting into the detail of certain departments.”
He said the principles are good but there needs to be more understanding at how they work in different government organisations.
The fact there were only two bidders for this contract could be a reflection of the confusion in the market as a result of GDS and Cabinet Office intervention, according to the source.