SOCA outsources ICT in £157m deal

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has signed a ten-year ICT outsourcing deal worth £157 million with the i2d consortium led by Logica and including QinetiQ, Detica, and Cable & Wireless.

Jan 20, 2011
By Paul Jacques
Head of Counter Terrorism Policing Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, speaking at a Commons Home Affairs Committee meeting on Counter-extremism.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has signed a ten-year ICT outsourcing deal worth £157 million with the i2d consortium led by Logica and including QinetiQ, Detica, and Cable & Wireless.

The deal will provide SOCA with a platform for improved collaboration with its partners, exploitation of intelligence and case management, as well as creating efficiencies through consolidation of data centres, networks and desktop PCs.

The programme is aligned with the Government’s commitment to achieve savings through smarter use of technology, re-use of existing Government assets and shared services. The Cabinet Office’s Efficiency Reform Group reviewed the supporting business case last summer and it was approved by the Home Office and Treasury.

Commenting on the agreement, Trevor Pearce, Director General of SOCA, said: “This contract secures an efficient and sustainable IT platform which will enable us to modernise and enhance our technological capabilities in fighting crime and improve the effectiveness of UK law enforcement in dislocating criminal markets.”

Craig Boundy, Logica CEO, UK, added: “This is a fantastic win and clearly shows how we can use our expertise in deploying technology to help the Government deliver mission critical services while saving money in the process. We are delighted to have been able to work collaboratively with our partners to secure this key contract.”

There have been concerns, however, over the disadvantages of outsourcing compared with other information and communication technology (ICT) options available for public sector. Earlier this month, Socitim, the association for ICT and related professionals in the public sector, warned organisatons not to rush into investment in outsourcing.

In a briefing entitled Heading into the cloud, Socitm said that only ICT-enabled automation and increased efficiency could keep public services affordable and that only a move to the cloud could make such investment justifiable.

It said “investing in new or enhanced data centres is not advised”, while outsourcing the ICT service “could delay the benefits of moving to the cloud”.

Cloud computing is location-independent computing, whereby shared servers provide resources, software, and data to computers and other devices on demand.

Socitim says public sector ICT strategies must be rewritten with cloud adoption as a central theme.
SOCA is due to be merged with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre in a new National Crime Agency during 2013.

It is understood that the outsourcing contract has been designed with the future in mind and would be applied to the new agency, with the technology platform having the capacity to absorb new demand.

Home Secretary Theresa May told Parliament last July that the Government planned to “build on the work” of SOCA and CEOP to create the National Crime Agency. This would also take over border policing.

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