Public Services > Justice

MoJ awards £45m deal to incumbent Atos to support management of court services

David Bicknell Published 29 November 2017

Ministry makes award because “only viable route is to enter into a contract with the incumbent supplier”; SMEs could benefit from up to 50% subcontracting of deal


The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is understood to have procured additional ICT services worth up to £45m from Atos to support the management of court services in England and Wales, prior to the transitioning of ICT services to the MoJ’s common ICT infrastructure.

Although the £45m “ICT Infrastructure Services Exit Contract” deal has been awarded to the incumbent supplier, Atos, the MoJ has also indicated that up to 50% of the contract is likely to be subcontracted. That could mean potential opportunities for SMEs.

According to a contract award note dated November 21, the MoJ awarded the deal because, “For technical reasons, the services can be provided only by a particular economic operator. This is the incumbent supplier (Atos IT Services UK Limited) who has been providing the services that form the subject matter of this contract under a contract with the contracting authority for the last 11 years. Existing contracting arrangements ended on the 18th October 2017.”

According to the award note, a change in the MoJ’s ICT strategy is also on the cards from 2019. It says, “Cognisant of the UK government's approach to technology to provide better public services for less cost through disaggregating, optimising, and modernising technology, the authority is considering its wider ICT strategy from 2019 onwards.

“Whilst a number of the services that formed part of the original contract have been transitioned to the contracting authority's replacement suppliers, a number of services are yet to be transitioned. These services continue to be required for a defined period beyond 18th October 2017, to enable the exit, decommissioning and phased transition of the services to long term replacement suppliers and to give the authority flexibility with respect to the authority's revised ICT strategy from 2019 onwards.”

The contract note goes on, “From a technical perspective, it is not feasible to transition the remaining services to a new supplier for a short period in order to complete the exit activity. The exiting services come at the end of a complex, high value, extended contractual relationship.”

It further explains, “Given this position, it is the authority's view that it is likely that the cost of appointing a different supplier would not only be prohibitive but also that no other supplier would choose to bid for such a short term appointment where services are expected to diminish over the term. The authority has therefore identified the only viable route is to enter into a contract with the incumbent supplier for the provision of a discrete set of services for a period of 12 months, with the option to require run off services for a period of up to 6 months. The maximum term of the contract is 18 months. The terms and conditions of the contract reflect the expected reduction of the services to be provided over the term.”

The note says the contract “is likely to be subcontracted” with a "value or proportion likely to be subcontracted to third parties" of 50%.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said, “We are investing in our courts to reform and digitise them to deliver swifter justice.

“As part of our modernisation programme, Atos has been awarded a new contract to deliver ICT services which will help support these vital reforms. The contract has been awarded in accordance with Cabinet Office and EU procurement guidelines.”

The contract appears to reflect the MoJ’s ongoing task to consolidate disparate ICT platforms in each of its constituent parts into a new common infrastructure as part of its Future IT Sourcing (FITS) plan. Contracts have already been awarded over an 18 month period covering nine FITS service towers, including application maintenance and support, hosting, and data centre services.

The MoJ has previously said that “the introduction of the Future IT Sourcing contracts (FITS) is bringing IT capability for MoJ people in a more consistent standard across the organisation.”

The ministry and its associated agencies have also been busy developing new digital services, with several requirements posted on the Digital Marketplace over the last 18 months

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