Home Office seeks deputy director for new emergency network

Written by Gill Hitchcock on 7 September 2021 in News

In-house role to manage suppliers to Emergency Services Network critical communications system

Eddie/CC BY-ND 2.0 (Image has been cropped)

The Home Office is seeking a commercial deputy director to manage suppliers to the Emergency Services Network (ESN) programme, planned to replace the outdated Airwave communication system currently used by emergency services in England, Wales and Scotland.

With a salary of up to £131,300 and the potential for 20% performance-related pay, the new deputy director will have experience of managing complex inter-related contracts with vendors.

Initially based in London, the deputy director will head-up a commercial team who are responsible for managing large, complex contracts across the ESN mobile communication programme as it evolves into a live service.

The technology that supports Airwave is reaching the end of its lifetime. Its limited capability means it cannot match the opportunities offered by new mobile communications technology.

Led by the Home Office, the cross-government programme to deliver the new ESN critical communications system will bring fast and secure voice, video and data across the 4G network.

The aim is to give emergency first responders immediate access to life-saving data, images and information in live situations and emergencies on the frontline.

According to the Home Office, investment in ESN will also mean improvements to 4G network coverage, which will enable 999 calls to be made securely from mobile phones in some of the most remote and rural parts of Great Britain.

"Tools alone are not enough." - Gareth Rhys Williams

Gareth Rhys Williams, the government chief commercial officer, said: “We need to maximise value from our commercial dealings and increasingly have to put in place the tools to achieve that - better IT and databases, consistent methodology and benchmarking.

“But tools alone are not enough. We need senior commercial specialists across all government departments working collectively to address common Crown objectives and acting as a single customer.”

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