The Cabinet Office announces a major milestone in the government’s ICT Strategy

The government’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy set out the way in which the government ICT landscape would change over the current spending review period: it included 30 points of action which it believed would lay the foundations for achieving the Strategy’s core objectives of reducing waste and project failure and stimulating economic growth, creating a common ICT infrastructure, using ICT to enable and deliver change and strengthening governance. The government maintained that all these changes were necessary if the UK’s ICT structure was to be cost-effective and fit for purpose in the Twenty First Century.

One of the key elements of the government’s ICT strategy was the Public Service Network. The Cabinet Office maintains that the PSN will substantially reduce the cost of communication services across UK Government and enable new, joined-up and shared public services. The PSN aims to provide a single logical network and marketplace for public sector communications, bringing suppliers and customers together to substantially reduce costs. It will become the platform for public service providers to operate, share and deliver services across traditional departmental and regional boundaries, in more cost-effective and innovative ways.

Two national PSN frameworks have been established by (GPS) for connectivity and additional services. They will provide a simple and cost-effective way for the public sector to obtain and industry to supply PSN-assured services that will not only offer best value and commercial transparency but provide standardised services across the public sector, enabling more flexibility in the way government buys and shares telecommunications services.

Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, spoke last week about how market participation in the procurement process had been every bit as strong as had been hoped. At the meeting he announced a list of successful suppliers chosen by the government to supply IT services for the Public Service Network. Mr Maude stated that this announcement was a major milestone in the government’s ICT Strategy, and re-affirmed that the PSN-compliant services and systems already in use in both local and central government had already produced savings of £64.2 million for the taxpayer in 2011/12 alone:

“The goal of the Government’s ICT Strategy is to ensure we can deliver smarter, more cost-effective, modern public services. With the award of the PSN Services Framework, following the PSN Connectivity Framework in April, we have passed a major milestone by establishing a competitive ICT marketplace at the heart of the public sector.”

“The PSN will drive savings and efficiencies by removing duplicate network connections, providing simpler procurement and greater competition, and allowing public sector employees to work in more flexible, user-focused ways.”

Twenty-nine suppliers have been named on the new framework being established by Government Procurement Service (GPS), offering services that range from CCTV and physical security monitoring, to video- and teleconferencing systems, call/contact centre services, mobile services (Voice, SMS, Data), messaging services, and secure gateways.

PSN Programme Director, Craig Eblett, added:

“The PSN Services Framework, together with the PSN Connectivity Framework, provides the public sector with the preferred route to market for all PSN networks and telecommunications spend. A fair and open PSN marketplace is now in place, and there is strong demand from public sector organisations to access it. I’d like to congratulate all the successful suppliers and wish them well as they compete for work under the framework.”

The successful PSN Service suppliers are:

2e2 UK Ltd
Airwave Solutions
Azzurri Communications Ltd
British Telecommunications plc
Cable & Wireless Worldwide
Capita Business Services Ltd
Cassidian UK
CSC Computer Sciences Ltd
Computacenter (UK) Ltd
Daisy Communications Ltd
Easynet Global Services
Everything Everywhere Ltd
Freedom Communications (UK) Ltd
Global Crossing (Level 3)
Icom Holdings Ltd
KCOM Group plc
Logicalis UK Ltd
NextiraOne UK Ltd
PageOne Communications Ltd
Phoenix IT Group Ltd
Siemens Communications
Specialist Computer Centre
Telefónica UK Ltd
telent Technology Services Ltd
Thales UK Ltd
Uniworld Communications Ltd
Virgin Media Business Ltd
Vodafone Ltd