A change of heart within a government department has forced public body Natural England to re-tender for a lucrative IT contract.
The non-departmental public body – which protects wildlife across the country as well as conserving landscapes and archaeological sites – is sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and receives almost £400m in grants every year.
The organisation had awarded a legacy IT contract earlier this year, according to a recently published Prior Information Notice (PIN), but the document claimed an "internal change of strategic direction within with Defra group" meant a new contract – outlined in the PIN – was necessary.
The new contract – Hosting, Support and Development of Legacy Rural Development Programme for England IT System – requires an IT partner to provide Natural England with a range of IT services and servers. It is expected to last for six years and could be worth between £30m and £40m over the period.
The contract could be awarded as a single deal or in multiple lots and will require the chosen IT partner to provide hosting, system integration, application support and maintenance and application development.
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