back to article Without competition, TCS wins back UK pensions body in £1.5B mega-deal

The UK's National Employment Savings Trust (Nest), an occupational pensions scheme, has inked a £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) deal with TCS without competition after sacking off French supplier Atos earlier this year. The new deal says the India IT services giant will the build, deliver and operate administration services for …

  1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Get used to it ...

    'competition is absent “for technical reasons” '

    I can see this phrase being recycled when Palantir inevitably get a contract ... and when Crapita get their next contract ...

    Somewhere in the specification it will say 'Company name must resemble "Palantir" ' or 'Demonstrable experience in massively under quoting and late delivery of product required' ...

    1. Ozan

      Re: Get used to it ...

      The oldest trick in public tender is to put something that only one company can satisfy.

  2. Flak

    If there is no competition, the requirement specification is wrong

    If Nasa can have competition in rocket building, if companies and consortia can compete in aircraft building, etc., then public sector procurements should be able to attract multiple bidders and those bidders should be in a position to compete successfully.

    However... if the question is wrong (the requirement), it is possible to get only a single answer.

    And that, by the way, does not mean that the answer is right, either.

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    no one else in the world could provide the combination of tech and services NEST requires

    Seriously, they expect us to believe that literally nobody else in the entire world is capable of building a pension administration system? That the challenge is so great that these wizards of mundane data processing are the only choice?

    The excuse that they've made big changes to the specification, but refuse to pay for the extra work or change the delivery deadline, so they're changing the supplier because the contracted supplier refused to do this looks very questionable from a contract law point of view. Normally this would lead to a court case, because nobody would sign a contract with open ended free future work requirements. My guess is that ATOS has too many other contracts with the government to make them dare take action.

    There's also a suspicion that this is what a "tilt to the indo-pacific" looks like in reality. Never mind, when you discover just how high the quality of work these Indian consultancies produce is, and how they never bilk you out of more money at every opportunity, you won't regret this move.

  4. John70

    Surely they could have got it cheaper. [sarcasm] It's not like TCS are going to have delays, go over budget, etc.... [/sarcasm]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've worked with TCS too. My condolences to the pensioners.

      Though as someone else notes below, these large consultancies are much of a muchness. Would anyone else be expected to do better?

      The simple fact is that the industry is pretty much rubbish, particularly at large projects. Standards in most sectors are poor and rarely enforced; practices are chaotic, inefficient, and error-prone; management, including initial estimations and evaluations, is generally slipshod; and so on. Large projects are nearly always an expensive mess (and often an outright failure) because we don't require rigor, and therefore the organizations undertaking them aren't going to budget and charge for rigor.

      1. spireite Silver badge

        Can't help but think Boeing are building a high-altitude lawn dart...

        Same s**t, different smell....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1 applicant only?

    I'm used to tenders requiring multiple bids, seems to hold some basic logic too, competition etc.

    Receive only a single bid: no valid tender process, either tender owner or the market fsck'd up.

  6. drone2903 in Kanuckistant

    I wish them good luck, then

    "apart from TCS, there was no single supplier or consortium in the market now or the short term (assessed over the next 12 months) who could meet Nest's requirements,"

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    The invisible hand strikes again

    “Nothing is more deadly to achievement than the belief that effort will not be rewarded, that the world is a bleak and discriminatory place in which only the predatory and the specially preferred can get ahead.”

  8. IHateWearingATie

    Let's be honest

    I've been involved in loads of these kinds of tenders, public and private sector. All the usual suspects are about the same, it depends on who's fielded the biggest liar .... sorry, best salesman in the process. TCS, Atos.... it'll all be much of a muchness.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off Shore Back door, seen it all before.

    Off Shore Back door, seen it all before.

    Cheaper to Outsource / Off shore / new method to implement modern day slavery.

    Is this the "BUNG" for the Steel works upgrade job.

    I tried to pay into NEST and I had to pay a percentage to transfer, another rip off Pension (Additional pension tax) plus the annual management fee.

    Bend over incoming.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And my privacy??

    TCS, an Indian IT company. NEST a UK Pensions Body.

    So anyone who has an existing account or will have an account in the future knows that their data will leave the UK and be sent abroad right?

    GDPR anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And my privacy??

      Sorry no GDPR for you since 50,0000000001% - of the people who bothered to show up - voted Brexit.

      And hey what could possibly go wrong, outsourcing to South Asian companies never harmed anyone.

      One way or another your data will go offshore. Thought you would be used to that being on an island?

    2. DaemonProcess

      Re: And my privacy??

      They are allowed to offshore provided that they keep the same controls over data as you have in the UK. The fact that the eyes on the data won't be in UK doesn't matter.

      Sales has very little to do with common sense or impartiality. It is all about giving the customer a warm and fuzzy. Most of the clients know nothing at all about running IT and seriously cannot tell the difference between proposals. They just go with who schmoozes them the best. gives the most warm and fuzzy assurances, has the best apparent rates/terms and says yes to everything.

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