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United Kingdom-London: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
Contract award notice
Results of the procurement procedure
Section I: Contracting authority
Section II: Object
Crown Hosting Service
Crown Commercial Service (“CCS"), on behalf of the Minister for Cabinet Office is entering into contractual arrangements with Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited (CHDC), a joint venture between the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Ark Data Centres Ltd (Ark).
This contract award notice adopts the form of a framework agreement extension (Crown Hosting Framework) that will be entered into between the Minister for the Cabinet Office and CHDC for a term of 4 years from 16.3.2019.
The arrangements relate to the hosting of a data centre facility. Specifically, provision, installation, maintenance and operation of:
— Data Centre systems,
— Data Centre LAN services,
— Data Centre Interconnectivity and
— the provision of Data Centre facilities from at least 2 separate locations and available in multiple regions.
This Contract Notice relates to the provision of Data Centre space and the related services (energy, cooling, connectivity and physical security) necessary to house and provide an operating environment for physical computing infrastructure (“Data Centre Colocation Services”) from at least 2 separate locations subject to appropriate minimum separation requirements.
Any operator must for the sake of the country's CNI have the capability and capacity from the “word go” to provide the expected services seamlessly without increased risk to the customers; it cannot be a phased ramp of service capability and therefore for technical reasons it is not possible to run a competitive process. In order to ensure consistent delivery of data centre facilities and services to government departments, other agencies and the wider public sector consummate with current practices and procedures laid out in the framework Agreement, Crown Commercial Services require services to be delivered as follows:
(a) Provision of readily available multiple, secure campus environments assured by CPNI, CGSD and NCSC at OFFICIAL, in accordance with security standards including JSP440, and able to deliver data centre services at Secret, Top Secret and above on the same campus; in place and ready for as for use on 16.3.2019;
(b) Provision of readily available multiple, secure campus environments assured by UK Government National Infrastructure accreditation bodies, able to deliver data centre services which support multiple UK national infrastructure services at or above customer accreditation requirements; in place and ready for use 16.3.2019;
(c) Fully enabled communication networks readily available onsite, enabling provision from multiple carriers, able to provide secure network capability at the highest levels of security and assured by the appropriate accreditation bodies; in place and operational ready for 16.3.2018;
(d) Consistent and guaranteed through contract provision of operational data centre facilities to meet a demonstrable operational Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) level of no more than 1.15, at densities of less than 20 %, for OFFICIAL environments; to not meet this would have an impact on energy efficiency and cause a substantial increase on costs;
(e) Commercial provision in the terms and conditions for termination without cause with 30 days notice, with no penalties for early termination and a minimum contract term of one month; without this is place the flexibility the customers have would cause a substantial increase in costs;
(f) Provision of consistent and scalable data centre services is a pre-requisite of the future demand profile, the supplier must have at least one additional location from mid-2019 with a site capacity in excess of 15MW and at least one further location from late 2020 with a site capacity in excess of 20MW;
(g) Provision of data centre facilities must be operationally consistent with current capability and configuration, including operating to established data centre facility operating processes that are consistent with HM Government approved standards for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, available for use 16.3.2018;
(h) Provision of a significant readily available pool of data centre facilities support personnel who are security cleared to at least SC level. In addition, a number of existing DV cleared personnel (in excess of 10) are also required to support the data centre facilities services with others be prepared to go through DV clearance. To not have these available immediately would affect the support of customers during their planning, on boarding and live phases of their service requirements.
The Framework Agreement extension will have a duration of 4 years from 16.3.2019. Call Off Contracts under the Framework Agreement may be awarded for a period of up to 5 years with options for customers to extend for a further 2 years (1 year plus 1 year).
Section IV: Procedure
Regulation 32(2)(ii) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 allows for the negotiated procedure to be used without prior publication where competition is absent for technical reasons. The position CCS was faced with was more than simply a complex or difficult situation where it would be convenient to remain with the incumbent.
A decision has been reached that due to the level of critical national infrastructure (“CNI"), which has been moved into the CHDC data centre facilities and the requirement to take the approach which maximises risk reduction when the contract involves CNI, it is technically necessary to enter into an extension of the Framework Agreement. It would not be sensible or without risk to the disruption of CNI to risk having to move incumbents to a new solution in the next few years. It had not been appreciated the level of CNI that would rely on this solution when the Framework was set up.
In making the decision we also recognised the need for current customers to have the ability to bring on board other wider areas of their business to connect and operate with. These wider customers would need to have the ability to individually contract within the framework agreement. If new customers were unable to utilise the framework this would cause significant inconvenience and a substantial duplication of costs for customers having to pause their transformation and seek an impractical solutions.
The reason why the contract is to be awarded without prior publication in the Official Journal of the European Union is that it is necessary in order to avoid potential disruption to CNI. Moving customer data to a new centre would create an unacceptable risk given the concentration of CNI, which has elected to use this solution under the existing Framework. These customers need to have the ability for other parts of their business that are not able to utilise the existing framework within the current timetable to contract in their own right with this same solution to minimise risk to CNI.
It has been decided that from a technical perspective the safest and therefore appropriate course is that there is an extension to the Framework.
Section V: Award of contract
Section VI: Complementary information