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back to article Whitehall signs MoU with Atos

Atos Origin has said it is the first IT company to sign a memorandum of understanding with the government following negotiations with Francis Maude. In a statement issued on 10 September 2010, the company said: "The agreement marks the start of a new single client approach to engagement with central UK government." In July …

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Silver badge
FAIL

Why are government contracts confidential?

In many countries the whole tendering, opening and awarding process is open including Canada and the States.

Government contracts awarded for routine supplies are published and this allows suppliers not listed to get on a bidding list which increases the competition and, often, decreases costs.

Therefore the British government should adopt these practices so that the Cameron Heinz 57 government can achieve it's fiscal goals.

The Blair/Brown government's seemingly cosy relationships with suppliers no doubt cost British taxpayers plenty although undoubtedly providing a source of funds during elections or jobs following parliamentary retirement for politicians involved in these transactions.

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Bronze badge

@ Contracts

If only you worked in the public sector, you would realise how stupid that comment is, when applied to IT contracts. It might have applied to some of the contracts let 10 - 15 years ago when both industry and government didn't have much experience in outsourcing, but not today. The people who make the real money are the lawyers and the procurement support consultants.

You should also be aware that bidding for government contracts is far more expensive than commercial work 2 - 5% of contract value, and that long term contracts have margins in the region of 4 - 8%, with a maximum 15% on optional work. Hit rate for contracts is about 1 in 3 for most suppliers. A lot of contracts are also open book with the customer, so they know where all the money goes, and get very upset about excessive profits.

Oh, and you might be blinded by what look to be huge numbers for IT contracts, but actually they aren't for what's required, government can't always use off the shelf packages, and £1,000,000 does not go very far on IT labour, or commodity product licences for that matter, want to guess what the annual support costs are to Microsoft and Oracle for a 5000 user Agency? Nope, more than that.

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Margin

No, I don't know how much a support contract costs, but 80K margin on every 1M of Oracle product will make sure that the Govt gets Oracle whether a jobs needs it or not. There are many other alternatives, but 8% of nothing is nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

More Interestingly

There's a whole bunch of the usual suspects lining up for this, but it is rumoured that a few big suppliers have introduced the committee to the Total Perspectivity Vortex, along the lines of your are 0.01% of our global business. Now there would be a story, if true, and a case you need us more than we need you, globalisation, such a wonderful thing.

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Thumb Down

ATOS also...

ATOS are also the guys that run medicals for the DWP on people claiming sickness benefits, and are particularly hated by the ill and disabled who are unlucky enough to have to deal with them and their seemingly "assume-guilt" approach to claimants.

The idea that this company is getting even further into bed with government doesn't fill me with confidence.

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Pirate

Didn't they...

let a member of the public find a USB stick in a pub carpark in 2008? Result, closure of Government Gateway.

They have experience in reducing disposal costs though. Medium - USB Data Stick, Classification - up to IL3, Disposal method, place on the roof of the nearest BMW!

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