The Home Office has agreed a contract with APD Communications for the upgrade of its software to be used on the Emergency Services Network (ESN).
It has published a contract award notice saying the deal has been arranged without a call for competition, as the company has the intellectual property rights (IPRs) for its integrated communications control system (ICCS) software. This can link ESN users’ systems with the network’s Kodiak push to talk application.
As the Home Office, which is running the programme, cannot force control room suppliers to grant access to the IPRs it would not be possible to appoint another supplier to make the upgrades.
Services covered by the contract include development of an ICCS solution compatible with the Kodiak application, functional testing in a sandbox environment, integration testing, a technical pilot and the provision of a delivery and deployment service.
The deal, which is part of the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme, has been valued at between £1 million and £6.5 million.
APD has recently begun a series of online workshops to guide organisations’ relevant teams towards the use of the ESN. It said it is aimed at senior emergency services officers with responsibility for contact, command and control operations, as well as communications and HR colleagues.
Development of the ESN has been plagued by delays and cost increases – it is currently three years behind schedule and is expected to cost about 50% more than originally estimated at over £9 billion – and has been subject to sharp criticisms by the National Audit Office and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.
Picture from Scott Davidson (modified), CC 2.0 via flickr
Details on value and IPR amended on 13 July on further information