back to article $50m+ contract for crime-fighting IT system won by Fujitsu after no one else bid

Fujitsu has been awarded a renewed contract for support and maintenance of the aging UK Police National Computer (PNC) after no other companies tendered for the work. The contract awarded to Fujitsu Services in London is worth £48 million ($56.6 million), began at the start of April, and covers a four-year period until the end …

  1. HKmk23
    Facepalm

    You could not make it up.....

    So Fujitsu have been awarded £48 million for a four year contract to supply an new Police National Computer system over the next four years and Fujitsu have at the same time announced that they are pulling out of mainframe computers in four years time......so no backup, no service, no spares......

    I supposed they are supplying all the left over surplus remaining clear out stock to the PNC and once its all been dumped on the UK, that's is they are out of it......

    That is what you get I suppose when people who have never had to earn any money (or been in business) are spending money they do not know what the value of....

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: You could not make it up.....

      No, Fujitsu was awarded the contract to continue maintaining the existing system.

      It's right there in the first paragraph :

      "Fujitsu has been awarded a renewed contract for support and maintenance of the aging UK Police National Computer (PNC) after no other companies tendered for the work."

      The fact that no one else made a bid is probably because the system is shite and nobody wants to become responsible for the impending shitstorm when the system needs to be effectively replaced.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You could not make it up.....

        Interesting the rest of the world is 'no-bid' - its usually as there's too much risk, don't have the specialist (proprietary) skills or its thought that Fujitsu is a shoe-in....

        50mil ending up as a single source for IT system support as no-one else bid is a bit odd.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: You could not make it up.....

          50mil ending up as a single source for IT system support as no-one else bid is a bit odd.

          Not in post-CoVid PPE UK; if it were 50 billion then it might be newsworthy.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Boffin

          Re: You could not make it up.....

          The way I read it, it is the hardware, not the software, that is the problem.

          The legacy system is not being changed.

          The BS-2000 OS is still being supported.

          It's the SE700-30 mainframe hardware that is out of production.

          Given that only Fujitsu has parts, sole-sourcing it is not unusual.

          1. Joe W Silver badge

            Re: You could not make it up.....

            They offer the system as a guest inside a XEN virtual machine. Works for us (though we are trying to migrate away from it)

        3. PeterM42
          Mushroom

          Re: You could not make it up.....

          Not at all. Why would anyone in their right mind bid for a poison chalice?

  2. wiggers

    If no one else bid then that should have been a red flag. Something was very wrong with the contract terms. The bid was no doubt pitched high because they didn't really want it.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Perhaps nobody else wanted it because Fujitsu are discontinuing support.........

      A bit of a chicken and egg scenario.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Its the frying pan that came first, and will be last on the table. anything else will be a public inquiry that will be shelved as the contents will bring down a future government or multiple peerages.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No one else bid except for Fujitsu because the contract was to continue supporting a Fujitsu mainframe until it is replaced by something that isn't a Fujitsu mainframe in a market where Fujistu mainframes are an endangered species to the point where Fujitsu don't even want to sell Fujitsu mainframes any more.

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      The red flag is its an ancient system, long past its replacement date and no one else want to touch it.

      Its pretty much what the what the whole article is about.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      >If no one else bid then that should have been a red flag

      To whom?

      I suspect the Police were happy to award the contract to Fujitsu, but because of the monetary value they had to go out to public tender.

      The interesting contract is going to be the one that migrates applications and data off the Fujitsu mainframe...

  3. nichomach

    "Won" is doing some heavy lifting here, isn't it? As others have noted the lack of any other bidders should be a HUGE red flag.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would be way more concerned by someone trying to bid for this, attempting to undercut the actual manufacturer and saying they could do a better job and deliver better value for the taxpayer inside of four years while TUPE-ing across all the staff and transforming delivery to match their ways of working, all the while supporting the decommissioning of the system and preparing for its replacement by something else entirely.

      The only thing more dodgy than someone trying to actually win this contract other than the incumbent would be someone coming along and buying out the incumbent so they could rinse both the legacy and replacement contracts for all they're worth.

      Like what happened with Airwave.

  4. emfiliane

    I would love to have a look inside the puzzle box

    Can you imagine how bad the environment must be that not one entity was willing to say, "I could make forty million pounds off this deal, ten million pounds every single year, and only have to keep it running and make minimal changes here and there." Even if they were hungry but unqualified. No, not one single company wanted anything to do with the monstrosity, and Fujitsu was likely forced to bid to maintain their own hellspawn against their own wishes.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The National Law Enforcement Data Service (NLEDS), which is being designed to replace both the PNC and the intelligence-sharing Police National Database (PND), was supposed to be up and running in 2020, but this has been delayed by at least five years with an estimated cost overrun of more than £400 million, according to the PAC.

    Interesting - the cost overrun (not including the base cost) for the NEW system which is supposed to replace the Fujitsu is 8x the amount to extend the Fujitsu system for the time to cover the delayed delivery of the new system.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. steviebuk Silver badge

    As its Fujitsu

    Let's try that again, I appear to be incapable of actually cocking typing on my phone properly.

    When anyone ever says they have a problem or there is a bug Fujitsu will deny it, claim there are never any bugs ever in their software or systems and then work to get you sent to prison.

    1. Ashto5

      Re: As its Fujitsu

      Perhaps there was some direct integration in place ?

      Post office system to police system

  8. Tron

    No worries.

    Most spares can be obtained on ebay or from a host of German science museums. They'll be fine. Unless the valves go. Replacement valves are usually from Russia. That could be tricky.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: No worries.

      You could say the same about IBM mainframes and it would be equally wrong.

  9. vogon00
    WTF?

    Here's hoping...

    ...that they do a better and more honourable/responsible job than they did with the PO Horizon system.

    I'm still pissed off that no-one serious has swung for that nasty debacle.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Here's hoping...

      Before being borged by Fujitsu, Horizon was ICL, PNC was Siemens

      Hopefully there were slightly dfifferent sets of ethics at work originally

      The bigger problem is that when merging companies the more poisonous set usually wins out (See: Google + Doubleclick = Alphabet)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's hoping...

      Justice delayed is undoubtedly justice denied, but by the same token arriving at conclusions before ALL the facts have been examined is how this debacle got started in the first place.

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Block chain, cloud, agile

    replacement system contract will no doubt be going to preferred bidders/partners in the near future

  11. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Trollface

    The National Law Enforcement Data Service (NLEDS), which is being designed to replace both the PNC and the intelligence-sharing Police National Database (PND), was supposed to be up and running in 2020

    Ask Meta, they probably have all the data already.

  12. Flywheel
    Facepalm

    There's potential problems on the Horizon

    Memories are short, especially in the political arena...

  13. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    I had naively thought the term 'Police National Computer' was anachronistic, and a label they'd kept from days of yore. I didn't know there was actually a mainframe from the days of yore still in operation at the core.

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