The UK’s Ministry of Defence has signed an 11-year, £800 million contract with engineering giant Boeing to provide logistics information systems for the armed forces.
The new contract “represents a step-change improvement to the quality of logistics information available to the armed forces,” said Peter Luff, parliamentary under secretary of state, in the House of Commons last week. “Logistic support is vital across the full range of military tasks, including those in support of military operations in Afghanistan.”
At present, the MoD’s logistical information systems are supported by a number of suppliers and managed internally. Boeing UK will take over the management of those systems and subcontractors.
Georgina O’Toole, analyst for TechMarketView, points out that the deal seems to contradict the coalition government’s pledge to curb IT megadeals. “Well, so much for ‘no more big ICT contracts’ in UK government,” O’Toole wrote yesterday.
Negotiations on the deal began before the election, however. “It seems likely that this is one contractual arrangement that would have been too expensive to break,” O’Toole speculated.
Last month, the UK government published the "business plans" of various government departments and the progress they have made to date. This revealed that the Cabinet Office’s plan to publish “guidance on the presumption that ICT projects should not exceed £100m in total value and the aspiration to reduce the scale of large ICT projects” is overdue.