The Police ICT Company (PICTO) has awarded the national Airwave terminal procurement framework contract to Motorola Solutions and Sepura.
It will provide a procurement route for TETRA devices and accessories, including handheld, mobile and covert digital radio terminal options, using the emergency communications network.
The framework – which runs for four years and allows any call-off orders to run for 10 – gives police forces an alternative to individually letting and re-letting standalone contracts compliant with the Public Contract Regulation.
It is the first deal set up by PICTO to cover devices, with most police forces having carried out their own procurements. Some have used frameworks set up by the Metropolitan Police and Home Office, although these are no longer open for new business.
PICTO said the deal has the potential for significant savings across police forces and the wider public sector. The framework involves discounts and removes the need for forces to transact through an intermediary model.
The move indicates that PICTO anticipates police forces continuing to use Airwave for some time, despite the development Emergency Services Network (ESN) as a replacement.
The ESN was originally scheduled to come into operation next year, but it has been beset by delays and the most recent indication is that it will become available for data services early in 2019 but that voice services will follow at an unspecified later date.
A PICTO spokesperson said the new contract could also help in the coordination of activities around the ESN in the future.
In addition, PICTO will provide regular benchmarking across police spending in the area to maintain the value for money.
Its chief executive officer, Ian Bell, said: “This is excellent news for the police service and its public sector partners, who will also have access to the framework, ensuring full price transparency and lowest cost across the supply chain over the course of the framework agreement.
“In addition to the clear and immediate benefits of significant efficiencies and discounts to forces, the fact that the company will manage the contract with Motorola and Sepura on their behalf will help streamline governance, reduce collective contract management burden and drive commonality.”
Picture from Scott Davidson (modified), CC 2.0 via flickr