The Ministry of Justice has redrafted a tender to vet suppliers seeking to win its End User computing contract worth up to £200m over the next five years.
The contract was first tendered in May and was worth £300m at the time, but bidding was scrapped in June after suppliers had been whittled down to a shortlist of four including Fujitsu, Computacenter, Atos and HP.
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The reason for this was Cabinet Office tinkering: the department wanted to stamp its authority over public sector IT procurement, once again, by pushing its SME agenda.
This debacle had cost the four firms millions collectively in bid preparation, and is reminiscent of the botched £1.6bn application development, delivery and support services contract that went tits up last year.
An MoJ spokesman told us that it now expects a "better deal" to be negotiated for taxpayers. "They [contracts] will also look to make greater use of small- and medium-sized businesses.”
The £200m contract includes PCs and fondleslabs and related software, peripherals, storage, services, training and management.
On top of civil servants working in the MoJ headquarters, the contract covers hardware requirements of HM Prisons, HM Courts and Tribunals centres, Probation Services, and a range of other locations – circa 1,500 nationally – the tender document stated.
The original scope of the previous £300m tender was split into lots which also included a managed print element, data centre hosting and one for local area network upgrades.
"The Cabinet Office wanted to dis-aggregate that chunky piece of business to get more players involved," said one bidder.
Separate tenders will be issued for these other “towers”, the MoJ said. ®