UK gov secures vendors for £1.5bn software services deal

Crown Commercial Service establishes a framework for the design and implementation of software for central gov and public bodies

A sign for the UK government's Cabinet Office

The UK government has awarded contracts to 25 tech firms as part of a deal to design and implement software services across the public sector, estimated to be worth up to £1.5 billion.

The framework, established by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), a procurement body that works for the Cabinet Office, has ordered the creation of software services that will be eventually used by central government departments and other public sector bodies, such as local authorities and UK emergency services.

A handful of major software and services vendors are part of the framework deal, including Deloitte, Hitachi, Fujitsu, HCL, and Accenture, alongside some smaller SMEs.

The government wants the services to cover strategy, architecture, design, software selection, impact assessment, implementation, integration services, data migration, change management, training, onboarding and business process automation.

The deal has been valued at £1.5 billion, however, and the CCS has said it "cannot guarantee any business through the framework agreement", which will be open for 30 months with an option to extend for a further 18 if needed.

It comes during a period of digital transformation for central and local government, with plans to move from on-premise and cloud-hosted systems to software as a service-based applications. It also follows reports that surfaced in February of a growing divide within the Conservative Party over contracts given to Amazon Web Services. Around £75 million worth of contracts were said to have been awarded to the tech giant last year, almost double the amount the next biggest cloud provider received. This has allegedly caused concerns within the government that it is too dependent on one service.

A full list of the companies associated with the deal can be found here.

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