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DWP on the hunt for new suppliers for £300 million contract

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP (opens in new tab)) has begun the search for new suppliers to underpin its key systems as existing contracts reach expiry dates.

In a prior information notice appearing in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) (opens in new tab), the Department reveals it requires virtual machine environment (VME) mainframe services encompassing application development, maintenance, support and operation, software and hardware operated in active-passive configuration.

“DWP is tasked with determining the optimal approach to replacing or renewing the Department’s major contracts, which provide virtually all of the IT services that DWP needs to support business services and to deliver change – taking account of the Department’s overall strategy, its business needs, market trends, wider government objectives and affordability constraints,” the document explains.

DWP currently follows a ‘tower’ based model when procuring and adopting new technology, although the OJEU notice reveals that it is now examining the potential for disaggregating requirements to the smallest practicable packages that still deliver operation efficiency whilst remaining broadly aligned to the tower model.

Its current objectives are to determine the shape of the IT services it needs to support its strategic direction, ensure that consensus is obtained from technology and the business on the direction of travel and to ensure continuity of supply to DWP by implementing chosen strategies within time and budget constraints.

By doing so, the DWP hopes to maintain and secure the continuity of supply for critical IT services, enable it to secure continued value for money and service improvements and provide flexibility for Departmental change and the platform for further enhancements.

The initial contract is expected to last for a four year period, subject to Cabinet Office (opens in new tab) recommendations and approvals and is valued at between £250m-£300m.