Policing minister Nick Herbert has indicated the government and sole police IT supplier SCC are looking at ways to cut the number of sub-contractors used for the purchase of tablet computers.
SCC has been the police force's supplier of choice for commodity IT hardware and software since the four-year Sprint ii framework was announced in 2010.
The Hansard log of parliamentary questions and answers for Monday reveals that Labour MP Keith Vaz asked home secretary Theresa May how the police force currently procures tablets and whether or not future procurement needs will be put to a competitive tender.
The question was answered by minister of state for policing and criminal justice Nick Herbert, who claimed that working solely "through a single IT reseller supplier" has already saved the force money "by acting as a single point of purchase". But he added that both the government and SCC are keen to cut costs further by diminishing the number of secondary suppliers from which the police currently buys tablet PCs.
"The IT reseller (SCC) and the Government Procurement Service are exploring ways to reduce the range of sub-suppliers who provide tablet computers and other hardware products," writes Herbert. "This is expected to provide further opportunities for greater price reductions while maintaining an element of product choice."
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