The government is seeking an IT supplier for up to £300 million worth of work at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Noms agency.
Noms, the National Offender Management Service, covers 131 prisons and the MoJ headquarters, but probation services will not be included in the deal.
Noms is moving to a new Future ICT Sourcing model by 2015, in which it will have department-wide contracts for service integration, end-user computing, networks, hosting, and application maintenance and development.Under the new three-year deal being sought to cover this transition period, the supplier chosen will provide hardware, software, network services, hosting and service management for 50,000 staff. There will also be two optional one year extensions to the work.
Suppliers have until 7 November to indicate their interest in bidding.
In July, the parliamentary Justice Committee issued a strongly-worded report stating that "box ticking" dominated practice at Noms, drawing attention to excessive bureaucracy on the OASys offender management system. Noms needed a major restructure, it said.
Three years ago, the department abandoned the C-NOMIS project for creating a national offender management system, after costs trebled to £700 million.