Authority claims Sprint ii is costing more

West Midlands Police Authority claims that buying ICT through the Home Office’s Sprint ii procurement framework is more expensive than using alternative sources.

Aug 18, 2011
By Paul Jacques

West Midlands Police Authority claims that buying ICT through the Home Office’s Sprint ii procurement framework is more expensive than using alternative sources.

All forces in England and Wales were mandated by the Government in March to buy commodity hardware and off-the-shelf software through the Sprint ii framework which involves just one supplier – Specialist Computer Centre (SCC) – following benchmarking tests undertaken by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

However, in its Annual Procurement Report, West Midlands Police Authority says: “From our experience of obtaining ‘Sprint ii’ pricing from SCC, it has been found that, on average, SCC has been 12.87 per cent higher in terms of price than alternative routes.”

This figure is based on the difference between SCC’s quotes and alternative suppliers for ad-hoc procurement exercises conducted over the course of the last six months, which would have resulted in the authority spending an additional £20,496 on an expenditure of £119,156 if purchased through SCC.

The report says that “there are ongoing concerns as to whether utilising this framework agreement will represent a best value approach for the authority”.

It added that the contracts and procurement unit had recently agreed a new ICT procurement strategy with the chief information officer.

“Moving away from commoditised purchasing to a more service-oriented supply approach may mitigate the amount that we have to purchase via the Sprint II mandate,” concludes the report.

The Home Office has said it will revisit the Sprint ii framework agreement once a new company is established next spring to take control of ICT procurement for the police.

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