Foreign Office gets green light for £94m Oracle upgrade

Written by Sam Trendall on 1 April 2020 in News
News

Spend control data shows business case approved for Atlas programme

Credit: Adobe Stock

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has gained approval to spend £93.8m on a major project to upgrade its enterprise software and install Oracle Cloud technology across the organisation.

The Atlas programme, which is part of government’s major projects portfolio, will see the FCO upgrade its existing Prism IT system for human resources, management, and finance.

Until now, an overall financial value had not been attached to the programme. But newly published spend control data reveals that the department saw a “revised business case” – based on spending of £93.8m – approved by the Cabinet Office on 2 December.

Both the outgoing system and its replacement will be based on technology from Oracle. This is in line with the government’s shared-service strategy published in 2018, which mandates that departments standardise on one of three enterprise resource planning vendors: Oracle; SAP; and Workday.


Related content


The government shared services team within the Cabinet Office has also said that its “preferred approach for departments is a single core ERP system, rather than separate ones for HR and finance”.

According to the most recently published programme update from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority: “Atlas is replacing Prism with a new modern and intuitive ERP system called Oracle Cloud. The investment in Oracle Cloud will provide a world-class platform which aligns to the Government Shared Services Strategy and the Cabinet Office's global design processes, and provides the ONE HMG platform for the government operating internationally.”

Prism has been in operation for almost two decades, with Capgemini having won the contract to deliver and support the system back in 2002. 

An upgrade programme has been in the works for several years and implementation of the new platform – supported by consultancy giant Accenture – finally got underway in September 2018. At the time of the last IPA review, a “whole-life cost” for the programme had yet to be calculated, but initial one-off costs were pegged at £21.8m.

“Following the appointment of the Accenture in September 2018, spend has been lower than expected due to some delays in Accenture staff reaching the full profile of anticipated staff due to security clearance issues,” the IPA said. “The FCO has had similar delays hiring planned internal contractors with appropriate security clearances.”

It added: “[Accenture] is experiencing delay in developing the tool required to complete the data migration between the existing system and the new system. This delay impacts testing after the tool is available.”

As of the last publicly available IPA review – which was published in July 2019 – the ultimate end date of the project had been pushed back from June to August 2020. It may go back further still.

“Risks remain around these dates including budgetary pressures requiring a different delivery model,” the IPA said. “In addition, it has been recognised that further strengthening is required on programme management, which is being actively reviewed.”

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

HMRC approved for £120m in contract extensions with Accenture and BT
27 May 2020

Newly published spend-control data shows that deals were awarded to extend service provision until 2022

MoD goes straight to Microsoft for first-of-its-kind £20m Azure deal
21 May 2020

Department says it was necessary to skip competitive process and award contract – which includes early access to Microsoft products – directly to vendor

Fewer frameworks and more ministerial muscle – how government can make good on its SME agenda
2 July 2020

The results of techUK’s annual GovTech SME Survey suggest the Digital Marketplace has made a positive impact on access to the public sector tech market but, according to Henry Rex, there are...

Related Sponsored Articles

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust Quickly Responds to COVID-19 with Citrix
18 June 2020

Locked down and forced to close clinics, the hospital trust enabled 2,000 employees to work from home and maintain continuity of services within 48 hours

University of Cambridge delivers business continuity with sustainable IT
11 June 2020

University of Cambridge chose Citrix Workspace to deliver an efficient, sustainable desktop, and gained work-from-home continuity when Covid-19 struck

Use Your Own Device is the fast track solution the UK Government needs to mobilise its staff
28 May 2020

Stephen Twynam of Citrix argues that by adjusting Bring Your Own Device to Use Your Own Device, the sentiment shifts and the negative connotations of BYOD are alleviated