Updates to this story
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has extended its contract with IT network management company Capgemini until December 2015.
However, despite requests for a briefing and further information all we've been told is that the new contract is worth a huge £193 million. So much for transparency.
We've been trying to figure out why the Met has decided to opt for an early renewal of the original £350m seven-year deal, which was signed in 2005, and not due to expire until 2012. The new agreement will now take it up to 2015 but despite questions to both Capgemini and the Met, we're still not clear on this - what's the story?
Capgemini manages and supports desktop IT networks, telephony and mobile devices, for the MPS, which includes about 30,000 desktops and laptops, 38,000 telephone extensions and 8,500 mobile phones.
The new service is expected to provide an estimated £43m savings in supporting the day-to-day work of London’s 55,000 police officers, staff and community support officers.
Capgemini also said the early renewal will enable the MPS to lock agreed cost savings in place and set budgets with greater certainty. It will also help the company to better plan the resources required to fulfil the requirements of the contract.
According to Capgemini, the cost savings will be achieved from increased automation, improved joint processes and rationalisation of services. There will also be closer collaboration to streamline management control and simplify reporting structures.
The movement of some Capgemini support services to centres in the north of Scotland will deliver cost effectiveness, we're told. But we're not sure why it's moving up to Scotland, and it's keeping tight-lipped too. We asked if it was simply part of Capgemini's business model or if it was cheaper but the company wouldn't say a thing.
Capgemini will continue its partnership with its main subcontractors, BT and Unisys. BT’s services include upgrading and rationalising the MPS’ voice and data networks, and Unisys supports application management, data centre hosting, desktop and server break fix.
Call us paranoid - we can tell you're already calling us paranoid - but we think something's up. Don't blame us, government contracts have a tendency to go belly-up.