The Department of Health (DH) has awarded a five-year, £74 million desktop management outsourcing contract to IT services provider Atos.
Atos will provide shared desktop services to the Department and some of its ‘arms-length bodies’, such as the Care Quality Commission.
The company said that it would support the objectives of the government’s IT strategy to increase the use of open source software and SMEs as suppliers. Atos "will use open source where it is the best solution to meet business requirements and they work with a number of SMEs dependent on the project and its requirements,’ a spokesperson said.
Atos is replacing incumbent provider CSC, whose contract ends in September 2012, a DH spokesperson told Information Age.
The contract was awarded under the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity framework (ASCC). This was originally set up by NHS Connecting for Health in 2008 to streamline procurement for systems outside the National Programme for IT. It was scrapped in April 2010 by the previous government but resurrected later in the year.
"Suppliers on the ASCC framework have gone through an evaluation process in relation to their capability and capacity and have agreed to a number of pre-defined terms and conditions to be awarded a place on the framework," a DH spokesperson explained today. "A competitive process can be undertaken with suppliers on the ASCC framework without the need for a further OJEU (Official Journal of Economic Union) notice to be posted – thus saving the NHS effort and time in [procurement]."
Last week, the DH published its most recent ‘business plan’ data, revealing that it spent £218 on desktop provision per full time employee, or £856 on annualised basis.