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United Kingdom-London: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
Voluntary ex ante transparency notice
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
Section II: Object
Application Maintenance and Support Services
Contract for the supply of application maintenance and support services.
Nationally, to include MoJ headquarters, HM Courts and tribunals centres, and a range of other locations.
(i) application maintenance and support for over 50 business-critical applications the majority of which are used by HM Courts and Tribunal Service; and
(ii) potential application development and enhancement services, as and when required.
The applications vary in size, complexity, component technologies, user numbers, interfaces with other applications, security requirements, service and support hours, business criticality and hosting arrangements. Most of the applications are classed as ‘heritage applications’ due to their age. Many are business critical case management or case progression systems used by the courts and are typically complex and bespoke. Applications may be removed from scope as they are retired/replaced.
Section IV: Procedure
The authority relies on Regulation 32(2)(b)(ii) (Use of negotiated procedure without prior publication) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 namely: the services can only be provided by a particular economic operator, the incumbent supplier (CGI IT UK Limited), who has been providing the services forming the subject matter of this contract under a contract with the authority for the last 5 years three months which is due to expire on 30 November 2020, because competition is absent for technical reasons, and no reasonable alternative substitute exists and the absence of competition is not the result of an artificial narrowing down of the parameters of the procurement for the following reasons.
(a) no other supplier has the necessary technical knowledge and experience to provide the services, because
(i) most of the applications are bespoke and ‘heritage applications’ with many over 15 years old. The heritage applications are difficult to maintain because of their age and complexity and the extent to which they have been changed over the years and require very specialist technical knowledge and experience, e.g. skills/experience in using aged programming languages such as Fortran, COBOL, Pascal and C. The number of people with the skills, knowledge and experience to maintain and/or enhance them is limited outside CGI, which has developed significant knowledge and experience of how the applications were built and developed and how they operate and interface with each other; and
(ii) delivering the services relies on non-live development and test environments, and management access to the live environments, both to provide ongoing support and to undertake application development/enhancement. For a replacement supplier to provide the services, they would need access to the same/equivalent existing non-live development and test environments. To build and implement equivalent development and test environments would take around 12 months and be challenging, expensive and risky without the necessary application knowledge/experience. A replacement supplier would additionally need to establish infrastructure, connectivity and processes to allow secure management access to the live environments, e.g. to investigate maintenance issues or for boarding purposes i.e. to deploy new applications/code.
(b) even if it was theoretically possible that another supplier did have the necessary technical knowledge/experience, which the authority does not consider to be the case, it is estimated to take a minimum of 18-24 months for a procurement to be run and any replacement supplier to be able to deliver the services (6 to 12 months to run a competition to award to another supplier depending on the route/process and around 12 months to transition) whereas the services are required from 1 December 2020.
Section V: Award of contract/concession
Support and/or optional development services for some of the applications.
Section VI: Complementary information
The initial term of the contract is for 21 months (1 December 2020 — 31 August 2022), with an option to extend for a further period of up to 12 months. The contract enables the authority to terminate services at its convenience and it is envisaged that a number of applications will be removed from scope over the term as they are retired/replaced and as in-house software delivery capability is developed. The authority intends to commence a competitive procurement process for the maintenance/support of the remaining applications during the initial term.
The estimated maximum contract value for this contract (GBP 90 000 000) is based on estimated service charges of GBP 45 000 000 and potential project work charges of up to GBP 45 000 000, and assumes the option to extend the term is exercised. The project work is entirely optional and is not guaranteed, the extension may not be necessary, and applications may be removed from scope over the term, so the actual cost of this contract may be lower than the estimated maximum contract value.