Justice is getting even more digital, everybody, which is probably a good idea as that’s where most of the crime seems to be heading, too.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has given the not-ever-so-reliable Atos a £45 million contract to increase the England and Wales court system’s IT services.
It’s hoped that the move with deliver justice quicker and free up time in our busy courts, though time will be the judge (sorry).
Atos won’t get all the money: around 50% is expected to be earmarked for third-party subcontracts. However, Atos must have the lion’s share because, according to the MoJ, technical constraints mean ‘services can be provided only by a particular economic operator. This is the incumbent supplier (Atos IT Services UK Limited) who has been providing the services that form the subject matter of this contract under a contract with the contracting authority for the last 11 years.’
Having said that, who knows? Maybe Atos will get even more than £45m.
The IT services firm infamously made a pig’s ear of the Work Capability Assessment contract it was awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Between 2011-14, over 2,300 people the company found ‘fit for work’ died shortly after their assessment. Additionally, a contract Atos was handed to deal with GPs’ data ballooned from an initial costing of £14m to £40m. But maybe they’re due a good turn, the MoJ no doubt reasoned – and, after all, it’s only taxpayers’ money.
Any reading SMEs that are eager to get a piece of the public contracts purse should take note: you might want to try and make a hash of your current contracts if you want the government to take you seriously.