The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) intends placing IT contracts worth up to £1.2 billion covering five years of investment in hardware, software, networks, service management and mobile technology.
News of the proposed tender comes after the National Audit Office slammed the MoJ's courts service for not properly accounting for £1.4 billion of fines and penalties owed to it. The NAO said the court service's Libra IT system and other IT platforms were not functioning properly and that the government risked losing the money owed to it through fines and penalties from offenders.
Another £1.2 billion potentially splashed out by the MoJ next year will be seen as a boon by IT suppliers, but as another potential danger by those with no confidence in big government IT contracts. The government has said it is seeking to reduce the risks though by breaking up its requirements into smaller contracts for specific technology areas.
The tender notice invites potential suppliers to send in their thoughts on the impending IT contracts and says a series of meetings are planned for those SMEs that might be interested in the business. The Government has already pledged that smaller firms will be given extra help in winning a slice of large government IT contracts.
One of the first contracts to be signed is expected to cover systems integration and management. Other areas covered will include security, hosting, application development, and portfolio and programme management, among other areas.