National Savings & Investments (NS&I) has put out a tender for an IT outsourcing deal that could be worth up to £2 billion.

The UK's government-backed savings organisation is looking for a partner to manage the operational components of its business, including IT, systems upgrade, call centres and back office transactional services.

NS&I outsourced its back office operations to Siemens IT Solutions and Services, (now Atos), in 1999 under a competitively tendered public private partnership. The agency said the partnership had delivered significant benefits to both customers and taxpayers, with increases in productivity and customer response resulting in more funds being invested.

However, the contract with Atos expires in 2014, and it is a statutory requirement for NS&I to undertake this procurement process to replace it. The organisation published a Prior Information Notice (PIN) in June 2011 and held an industry day for prospective suppliers in July.

"The start of the procurement process for our new operational services contract is a key milestone in securing a partner to support the strategic aspirations of NS&I," said Steve Owen, Director, Operations and Commercial Management at NS&I.

"Following a successful industry day in July, we expect a good level of market interest for the new contract, which will ensure we continue to deliver best value for the taxpayer and the best possible service to our customers."

A spokesperson for NS&I confirmed to ComputerworldUK's sister title Techworld that the value of the contract would be in the range £1.25 billion up to approximately £2 billion - considerably higher than the figures of £700m to £1.5 billion stated in the pre-tender document published in June.

The procurement process it is expected to complete by April 2013, in time to allow the transition to the new services, said NS&I.