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Home Office extends EE deal for ESN

02/09/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Home Office has added two years to its contract with EE for the company’s role in implementing the Emergency Services Network (ESN).

Police car lights

It has said the deal will now last until December 2024 rather than September 2022 due to extra time needed for the roll out of services under lot 3 of the overall ESN contract, which involves the provision of mobile coverage, radio equipment, technical interfaces, management capabilities, critical mobile communications and support services.

This comes soon after the department added two years to its contract with Motorola Solutions for user services, also under lot 3.

The extension notice for EE says the transition of ESN users onto its network will be phased over 27 months beginning in September 2020, and involves a new payment structure under which the company will be paid on the basis of material completion of the network with abatements for any milestone dates missed.

There was no competition for an alternative provider as the Home Office believed there was no realistic prospect of a new one being able begin the relevant work as early as September 2020. It says it would have taken at least three years to run a fresh competition and a further year for a new supplier to be ready to begin the bulk of the work.

Deadline warning

There have been a series of delays in the development of the ESN, recently prompting the National Audit Office to warn it is unlikely to be ready by the 2022 deadline – three years later than the original date – and that the costs are going to outweigh the savings until at least 2029 – seven years later than originally intended.

The Home Office notice on the EE extension adds fuel to the assertion, setting the revised value of lot 3 as a whole at £896 million, up from £675 million. It attributes largely to the extension of the contract term but says there are also costs in moving to an incremental delivery model.

Picture from Scott Davidson (modified), CC 2.0 via flickr

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