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Defra signs Hitachi Solutions to support SERP programme


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has signed Hitachi Solutions for digital support of its Smart Environmental Regulation Programme (SERP).

They have agreed on a two-year contract valued at £50 million, under which the company will act as a partner in configuring technologies on Microsoft Power Platform and Azure as part of the programme.

SERP is aimed at transforming the digital capabilities for regulatory activities by Defra and its arm’s length bodies, and involves four programmes: within the department for waste tracking, collection and packaging reforms and environment monitoring and planning; and for the Environment Agency’s regulatory services.

The contract notice says that legacy systems that underpin these programmes in their existing form need replacing, and that there are new demands from the statutory requirements of the Environment Act 2021.

Defra wants to take a more cohesive approach to service and platform development than in the past, and sees an opportunity to develop generic digital capabilities that can be re-used across its family.

Platforms for processes

“Generic platforms can include the determination and management of permit and registrations, charging, compliance, enforcement, data storage and analytics, as well as externally facing digital services for the ability to manage online accounts, to apply, submit returns and tracking data online,” the notice says.

“As different programmes are at different stages of development, with some in beta/live, others in discovery, Defra is keen to work collaboratively with a provider to shape statements of work to implement capabilities.”

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