The government is on the lookout for an IT partner to take a majority stake in a new datacentre business which will see the duo create a large facility to house "official" and "top-secret" data.
The Cabinet Office is looking for one IT partner to provide it with a range of kit such as networks, servers and cabling, as well as services, as part of its Crown Hosting contract, which it said could be worth between £50m and £700m over four years.
Call-off contracts may be awarded for a period of up to five years with options for customers to extend for a further two one-year periods, it added.
The selected partner will hold a majority shareholding of 75 per cent plus one share in what will be the new privately held limited company DatacentreCo, which will be responsible for the datacentre's establishment.
The government said it initially anticipates the facility will need 350 square metres of floor space, but added that scalability will be a prerequisite and that the chosen partner should have experience in providing capabilities beyond the initial requirements.
In the tender document, the government said security will be a top priority in the new datacentre.
"The operating environment is to be capable of housing computer infrastructure that initially handles information with UK government security classification 'official', but there may be a future requirement for [it to] handle information with 'secret' and ‘top secret' security classification," it said. "The provision of ‘secret' and ‘top secret' would be subject to separate security accreditation."
The tender added that the chosen partner must have experience of similar projects as well as the "ability to grow a sustainable, profitable business".
It said that efficiency, better value for money and increased agility were all important desired outcomes for the project.
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