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Defra commences IT outsource exit plans with £30m pre-tender

Neil Merrett Published 26 April 2016

Department to meet with suppliers to outline best methods for UnITy programme with initial focus around replacing existing hosting and application management services


The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a £30m pre-tender to replace its hosting and application management services as part of a wider programme called UnITy that seeks to overhaul IT provision across the organisation.

Potential suppliers are being asked to detail interest in helping the department understand possible options for replacing the existing end-to-end services. Contracting award procedures are then anticipated to start by early August.

"[The] UnITy programme is a Defra-wide initiative to 'join up Defra ICT' and replace the current services provided by two main separate contracts, operated by Capgemini and IBM, which are both approaching the end of their terms in 2017 and 2018 respectively," said the pre-tender notice.

"The Defra UnITy Programme is made up of five different work-streams each looking at delivering distinct IT services; service management (including service integration), connectivity, hosting and applications management, end user environment (EUE) and systems integration and platforms."

Similar to HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC's) work around replacing the outgoing Aspire contract with Capgemini and Fujitsu, Defra is also looking to finalise plans to move away from a large outsourcing IT contract with two main suppliers.

The department expects to meet with suppliers in the coming months to address the five separate work-stream areas outlined under the UnITy programme that will support the technology requirements of Defra and a number of agencies. These agencies include Natural England, The Environment Agency, The Rural Payments Agency, Marine Management Organisation and The Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Under the planned hosting services work-stream, Defra will seek to procure Internet as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) functions, while data centre services will also be included.

The applications management and support work-stream will meanwhile focus on procuring application life-cycle management and provisioning, as well as release management and refresh services.

"Defra will invite selected suppliers for a Hosting and Applications Management Supplier Event, which is expected to be hosted in mid-May 2016," added the notice.

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