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Met Police launches £600m IT infrastructure tender

Force aims to move away from a multi-supplier approach and enable flexibility and savings in technology

The Metropolitan Police has launched a new tender for the provision of IT infrastructure services with the aim of promoting more agility, flexibility and savings.

With an estimated value range of £600m, the five-year contract is part of the Met’s Pegasus programme, which is intended to revamp the organisation’s service model and make the most of the opportunities of data, digital and technology. Bids can be submitted by 13 January 2020.

Currently, IT infrastructure at the Met is delivered as a multi-supplier model across six towers, but Pegasus will see it move to a model with two towers, comprising an infrastructure provider with embedded service management and integration services, and a separate applications tower.

Other services that will make up the infrastructure services tower include the service desk, hosting and datacentre services, as well as cyber security services and the organisation’s security operations center.

The tender notice said the Met has a “strong preference” for appointing different suppliers for services across each of the towers to ensure independence between the two areas, because the incumbent for infrastructure will, to some extent, be managing the applications partner.

The Met’s ambitions to intensify the use of data in its operations follow controversy earlier this year about the use of live facial recognition (LFR) technology.

Consent, public legitimacy and trust were among the concerns raised around mixing LFR trials with operational deployments.

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An independent report into LFR use, published in July 2019, found that a number of shortcomings around the various trials promoted by the Met would not withstand legal scrutiny.

A separate report by the Information Commissioner’s Office called on police forces to “slow down” and properly justify their use of LFR. It recommended that the government should introduce a statutory and binding code of practice on the technology’s deployment.

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