Public Services > Central Government

Cabinet Office's new Oracle deal will extend scope to NHS

David Bicknell Published 20 August 2015

Increased scope will cover Oracle use within the NHS and apply to more products and services


A new deal between the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and Oracle has been promised to generate cost savings for the government over the next three years - and its increased scope will cover the NHS.

Details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) have not been disclosed, but the government has indicated that it wants to develop a "more collaborative relationship" with Oracle, which is described as one of Whitehall's "most strategic suppliers."

A Cabinet Office announcement said the new MoU builds on the previous agreement signed in 2012 and extends the scope to additional public sector bodies, including the NHS, as well as more products and services.

The 2012 agreement promised savings of £75m from a more vanilla approach to software procurement and all parts of government paying the same price for Oracle products, the Cabinet Office then said.

Although details of the latest MoU have not been released, the previous agreement with Oracle, which ran until the end of the previous parliament, contained four areas where the £75m savings would be made:

Single pricing. In the past, different parts of government have brought software from Oracle on different terms and at different rates. The new deal was intended to mean that the government acted as a single customer, with all departments buying software at the same rate.

Licence sharing . Software licences could be reused across departments rather than each department having to buy licences that the government already owns.

Bulk buying. The government hoped to maximise its buying power and buy in bulk as a single customer.

Shared services. The amount the government spent on back office software (used for shared services, such as HR and payroll) would be reduced as it would be be able to set its own timescales for when upgrades occur.

The assumption is that some or all of these areas may still apply under the latest MoU, with further areas added, including clauses to cover use of Oracle software in the NHS.

Commenting on the latest agreement, Sally Collier, chief executive of CCS said: "The enhanced MoU will deliver savings across government and allow easier and more effective procurement of Oracle products and services. It lays the foundation of a more collaborative relationship between government and Oracle."

Oracle's senior vice president and UK country leader Dermot O'Kelly added: "We are delighted to demonstrate our commitment to the agenda of the new government in saving money and delivering leading-edge information technology to help transform public services. We look forward to continued productive and mutually beneficial relationships with our public sector customers."

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