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United Kingdom-London: Telecommunications services
Voluntary ex ante transparency notice
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
Section II: Object
ECHO Framework Agreement — Information and Telecommunications Services
The contracting authority on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Secretary of State for the Department for International Development (DFID) and the British Council (BC) (collectively the ‘Partners’) awarded the ECHO framework agreement for information and telecommunications services in September 2010.
The framework agreement included the replacement of the current FCO telecommunications network (FTN) contract and a number of related, primarily overseas, communications contracts and services.
The services made available under the framework agreement included:
1) application services,
2) network services, and
3) lifecycle services.
The services are delivered globally, include operation and management of legacy services, covering a range of UK Government security impact levels.
All services are required to align and support the current and future government standards, and include but are not limited to:
1) application services: the provision of a range of voice and other application services on a global basis, which are anticipated to include, but are not limited to:
— instant messaging,
— unified communications,
— data transfer,
— collaborative working and knowledge sharing,
— rapid deployment, and
— any other application services including those required for any part of the service lifecycle;
2) network services: the provision of network connectivity and other network services on a global basis and separated as required from other echo and non-echo services, including but not limited to:
— managed network,
— internet access,
— PSTN access,
— network access,
— remote access, and
— any other network and network related services including those required for any part of the service lifecycle and as they evolve in response to evolution in technology;
3) lifecycle services: the provision of lifecycle services on a global basis. Aspects of the service lifecycle covered include, but are not limited to:
— service portfolio evolution,
— project management,
— design, development and testing,
— enterprise integration,
— operational integration,
— service management,
— disaster recovery,
— moves, adds, deletion and changes, and
— management Information and Billing.
Section IV: Procedure
The Partners are in the process of re-procuring their telecommunications requirements through the procurement of a network services integrator (‘NSI’) and the establishment of a Dynamic Purchasing System (‘DPS’). The NSI contract notice reference is 2020/S 106-258337 and the DPS prior information notice reference is 2020/S 141-348181.
The modifications to the call-off contracts under the ECHO framework agreement are necessary, as it is significantly likely that there would be numerous difficulties with putting in place an interim contract before the re-procurement of the services is complete. Any interim contract would require both a transition period and exit period, which is significantly likely to cause great inconvenience, duplication of transition costs, be disproportionately expensive and may cause technical and interoperability issues to a core Government service.
The modifications do not exceed 50 % of the original value.
The Partners are therefore justified in amending the ECHO framework agreement and call-off contracts under Regulation 72(1)(b) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
The amendment is subject to Cabinet Office and H M Treasury approvals.
Section V: Award of contract/concession
Section VI: Complementary information
Cable ad Wireless U.K was acquired by Vodafone UK Ltd in April 2012. As such, Vodafone UK Ltd became the contractor under the ECHO framework agreement.
Any review proceedings will be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (‘PCR 2015’). Any review proceedings must be brought within the timescales specified by the applicable law.