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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
Contract for the Provision of a Managed Service Provider for the Agile Data Retention and Disclosure Service (ARDS)
Contract for the provision of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that could help develop and deliver ARDS.
The ARDS project sits within the HO’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) whose objectives (without limitation) are to:
— develop, coordinate and assess delivery of the Government’s counter-terrorism and serious and organised crime strategies;
— deliver elements of those strategies that fall to OSCT;
— enable oversight by the Home Secretary of the Security Service, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and police CT;
— coordinate domestic CT crisis management;
— maintain capabilities to collect, access and exploit Communications Data (CD) and content (the objective that the delivery of ARDS sits under); and
— support our security industry, Notably in promoting security related exports.
Within OSCT, the National Communications Data Service (NCDS) is accountable for delivering and maintaining communications data services that enable Requesting Authorities (RA) such as security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain CD within the appropriate legal framework. These RA’s must have the ability to identify and locate subjects of interest and determine how and when they are communicating through the acquisition and exploitation of CD. This ability is required to keep up with changing technology and is vital to the work these agencies do to protect the public.
CD has been shown to be a particularly rich and reliable source of data that can be used by investigators to develop actionable intelligence and/or build a compelling evidential case to bring offenders to justice. CD has played a role in every major Security Service counter-terrorism operation over the past decade. It has also been used as evidence in 95 % of all serious organised crime investigations handled by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Internet communications are constantly and rapidly changing, and it is frequently the case that essential data is only either partially available, or fragmented, across service providers in the UK and overseas. NCDS must monitor and anticipate changes in the communications market and deliver, and be ready to deliver, timely, affordable capabilities and services. The growth in CD variety, volume and complexity means that NCDS wishes to deliver improved arrangements for providing CD to RA’s.
Within this context, there is also an operational requirement from Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and the United Kingdom Intelligence Community (UKIC) to improve the coverage of smaller TOs. This fundamental change in approach and the underlying assumptions for the management of Telecommunications Operators (TO) and CD is at the core of the ARDS concept.
NCDS intends to procure an MSP service to provide a collaborative, innovative and responsive environment in which ideas, solutions and services can be developed to the benefit of NCDS, TOs and its customers in the LEA community. NCDS needs new thinking, new approaches and new attitudes to create this environment, it will encourage potential bidders to approach ARDS with fresh ideas, creativity and openness. In creating ARDS, the MSP should enable TOs to be on-boarded and off-boarded rapidly.
NCDS requires an organisation for the MSP with an innovative approach, a highly proactive mind set and the desire to constantly seek better ways of delivering success. Clearly, solid knowledge of the technological landscape in which NCDS operates is important, but previous experience in the specific sector, and indeed in working with the public sector, may be less important.
The ARDS project has obligations under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and the Communications Data Code of Practice whilst the TOs have obligations that are mandated via the Data Retention Notice, ‘Investigatory Powers Act’ and the ‘IPA Code of Practice’.
Section IV: Procedure
Section V: Award of contract
Section VI: Complementary information