Proposed changes to the way IT procurement is managed by UK police forces have raised questions over the relevance of the Sprint ii framework.
Home secretary Theresa May announced that from next spring, responsibility
for the management and procurement of police IT contracts will fall under
the remit of a standalone company.
Speaking at the Association of Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) summer conference, May said the initiative would help to slash the £1.2bn spent on IT by UK police forces each year.
"That is a very large sum [and] I would not be concerned about its size if I were convinced it represented good value for money, but it does not," she said.
Nick Taylor, business development manager at mobile services provider Timico, welcomed the changes.
At the moment, we would have to run 43 individual campaigns to achieve mass adoption of our software by the UK police," he explained. "By working as a single entity, they will get greater purchasing power and economies of scale."
However, the proposal has caused channel onlookers to question what this means for the Sprint ii framework, which is currently used by police forces to procure volume hardware and software from integrator SCC.
A Home Office representative told CRN it had no comment "at the moment" about how the company's launch will affect Sprint ii.
Meanwhile, Georgina O'Toole, research director at analyst TechMarketView, said:
"It is unclear what will happen to this framework, although we are pretty sure that SCC's competitors would delight in seeing it ripped up."
Mark Penny, strategic sales and partner director at public sector-focused VAR Trustmarque Solutions, added that if the home secretary is serious about getting value for money, ditching single-supplier frameworks would be the way to do it.
"The competitive nature of pre-tendered and multi-supplier frameworks reliably affords broader choice and better value for the end user," he said.
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