Here is your latest update on topical stories mined from Tussell’s database of UK government outsourcing.
1. Accenture awarded £29m justice modernisation contract
In a sign of efforts to modernise the justice system, Accenture have been awarded a £29m contract by the Police & Crime Commissioner for Sussex to implement a ‘video-enabled justice’ programme, including the ability to appear in court via a video link. According to the notice this contract was not publicly tendered, as one of the key deliverables includes proprietary software for which apparently ‘no reasonable alternative exists’. This is at least the second large contract we have highlighted recently that appears not to have been competitively tendered (the previous being a £380m award by TfL to Thales) – signs of the government treading a fine line between reducing the cost of procurement and stimulating competition.
2. The Office of Rail Regulations starts search for a new CEO
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has published a tender for up to £40k for the search and recruitment of a new CEO. Current incumbent, Joanna Whittington, was appointed to the role in February last year but, according to the notice, is now “moving to another key Civil Service appointment”. Based on typical head-hunter fees of 20% of salary, the top end of the tender suggests an expected salary for the new appointee of £200k pa. With one of the key roles of the ORR being to license railway franchises, the incoming CEO will likely have their work cut out for them.
3. Deloitte parachuted in to rescue US Air Force Facilities Management contract
Deloitte were awarded a £500k contract by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to provide consultancy services for 'contract negotiation and retendering' relating to a ‘significant' facilities management contract. The notice does not explicitly reference which contract this is, but does mention it is in relation to the 'United States Visiting Forces' – American Air Force bases in the UK. Interserve are the current holders of a £230m facilities management contract for the USVF which runs until 2021. Could this renegotiation be linked to US pressure on the UK to bear more of the cost of its own defence?
4. Farmers consulted on post-CAP subsidies system
At the beginning of September, Michael Gove tabled the Agriculture Bill as his vision for a ‘Green Brexit'. On Tuesday DEFRA published a Pre-Information Notice announcing a supplier consultation on payment methodologies for the envisioned new ‘Environmental Land Management’ system to replace subsidies under the CAP. The objectives of the new Agriculture Bill are laudable; now begins the hard work of consultation on its implementation.
5. PwC to support Home Office in dealing with EU citizens post-Brexit
PwC have been awarded an £824K contract by the Home Office to provide ‘delivery support for the EU Exit Settlement Scheme’, the post-Brexit procedure under which EU citizens in the UK “will be able to apply for settled status in 3 easy steps for less than the price of a passport”.
In the last month alone there have been three tenders and two contract awards explicitly referring to Brexit or a related term.
6. FCO seeking expert advice on US financial services regulations
The Foreign Office has just published a £150k tender to find an organisation to help them understand US financial services trade and regulatory regime. According to the notice, “this analysis will enable the UK to enter trade and regulatory discussions with the US from a position of deep and detailed understanding of the US financial services trade and regulatory regime.” Is this a case of the Foreign Office stepping on Bank of England and Treasury turf?
7. 'Help to Save' policy rollout
Last week HMRC published a Pre-Information Notice for payroll services to ‘Help to Save’, a new ministerial initiative encouraging those receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits to save by topping up their savings 50p for every £1, up to £50 a month for 4 years. HMRC will be looking for a contractor to ‘innovate the service and take advantage of technological change’. Could this be a further indication of government concern over people making inadequate provision for their own retirement?