The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has selected BAE Systems Detica as the preferred bidder for its Service Management Integration (SMI) framework.

As service integrator, BAE will be responsible for managing the FCO's IT suppliers across a network of over 260 posts around the world, which serves more than 1,400 employees. It will be tasked with improving and maintaining continuity of its critical systems in a bid to increase efficiencies and drive down costs for the government department.

"We're delighted to be selected by the FCO for this market-first IT contract. This is a significant milestone in our plans to establish ourselves as a leading service integrator," said Martin Sutherland, Managing Director of BAE Systems Detica.

" Over the coming months we will draw on the wider capability within BAE Systems, combining our delivery management and security expertise with the proven processes of BAE Systems Shared Services' integrated service management team, in order to deliver a solution for the FCO that allows the organisation to achieve dynamic resilience in its IT infrastructure across the world."

The SMI framework was revealed in February last year, where the FCO indicated the chosen vendor could be handed £80 million over six years.

It is anticipated that the FCO and BAE will formally sign the SMI contract in the summer, and final details about the length and value of the deal are not being released at this stage.