The Home Office gave Dell just a fortnight to custom build 16,000 PCs but an admin cockup led to the order being shelved, and it is not clear if it will be re-tendered.
A mini-auction took place in the first week of March with a build and delivery date set for the end of the month. Most of the tier ones competed on the deal but the Texan PX baron came out on top.
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But delays led to the order being raised later than expected, putting even more pressure on Dell to turn out the systems.
A Home Office spokeswoman told The Channel "the contract was terminated by mutual agreement on 18 March without delivery or payment".
"No decision has yet been made on whether the contract will be retendered," she added. The Home Office made no further comment.
Details about the system specification or pricing was not available, neither was the operating system requested.
PR at Dell UK sent us a statement from Claire Vyvyan, executive director and GM for large institutions: “Orders vary depending on customer requirements and can change during fulfilment. In this case a mutual decision was made not to proceed.”
The business was tendered via the little loved IT Hardware & Services framework, which is due to be shelved in the summer, and would have been the biggest single deal transacted on it.
It is not clear why the Crown Commercial Services, which runs procurement frameworks on behalf of the Cabinet Office, was not in more control of the Home Office deal.
Perhaps this highlights the tensions between CCS and individual government departments that would like to maintain control over their purchasing decisions.
The Cabinet Office was not available to comment at the time of writing. ®