The Ministry of Justice is planning to procure a new system to track criminal offenders wearing electronic tags.
The contract to provide the system, tendered this week, is worth between £583 million and £3 billion. It is split into four lots, namely service management, mapping software, tracking hardware and communications.
The MoJ currently monitors 25,000 offenders who are carrying out community sentences, are on bail or have been released from prison under special circumstances, the tender document reveals. Around 116,000 were tracked in total over 2010/11, an increase of 9% from the previous year. The MoJ said that it expects the number offenders tracked to increase over the course of the new contract.
The service managment lot is the largest on offer, and will be worth between £540 million and £2.3 billion. The successful supplier will provide electronic monitoring in England and Wales, including a processing centre, hardware, software and field operatives. It will also integrate services and systems for all other lots, and be responsible for the electronic monitoring of subjects in a legal sense.
Companies that bid for this lot will not be allowed to bid for the tracking hardware lot, which is worth between £22 million and £380 million and includes anklets and hand held monitoring devices.
The communications network, worth between £10 million and £90 million, must adhere to the government’s public services network (PSN) standards. The MoJ says it may include the networking requirements for the electronic tagging system in future PSN procurement frameworks.
The current offender monitoring system is provided by security outsourcing company G4S (formerly Group 4 Securitas). The company claims that ‘home detention curfews’ prevents the need for 2,300 prison places in the UK or four new prisons.