Test and Trace signs £9m one-year AWS deal

Written by Sam Trendall on 26 May 2021 in News
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Contract – which is not signed under the terms of the public sector-wide OGVA – covers provision of cloud services

Credit: Pxhere

The NHS Test and Trace programme has signed a £9m one-year deal with Amazon Web Services.

The deal between the cloud firm and the Department of Health and Social Care, which came into effect on 8 April and runs until 30 April 2022, covers the provision of services across all three lots of the G-Cloud framework. This respectively includes cloud hosting, software, and support and managed services.

All details of the exact products, services and personnel to be provided were redacted from the contract, as was all information on pricing and discounts.

But it is understood that the deal provides flexibility for the Test and Trace scheme to increase its capacity as required, and that all services have been assessed and attained the highest possible certification level under NHS Digital’s Data Security and Protection Toolkit.

The contract does reveal, however, that the DHSC has chosen to sign the contract under the terms of the AWS UK Government Deployment Program (UKGDP).


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This scheme – the benefits of which include offering qualifying customers free enterprise support – is open to public-sector organisations spending at least $2m upfront on the vendor’s services. The resultant free support reportedly equates to a saving of as much as $180,000 (£128,000). 

Taking advantage of the UKGDP scheme does mean that the DHSC cannot also obtain the savings offered by the One Government Value Agreement. This three-year arrangement between AWS and the Crown Commercial Service offers public sector customers a discount of 18% on hosting services – or 20% if they pay upfront in full. Many Whitehall departments have taken advantage of these improved terms and renewed their AWS contracts since the OGVA was launched November; deals worth a cumulative £300m-plus have already been awarded by the likes of the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, and HM Revenue and Customs. 

Alongside the AWS contract, the Test and Trace programme has also awarded a £7.75m six-month deal to digital transformation specialist BJSS, which will provide “platform support, security and tooling services” to the scheme’s cloud environment – known as Halo.

The contract came into effect on 1 April and has tasked the Leeds-headquartered firm with “supporting the Test and Trace business delivery priorities including the on-boarding of major initiatives for Jupiter lab testing, ITS lateral flow mass testing and the transition of the EDGE and DASH (Data Science Hub) data platforms to a government-secured platform”.

The deal will also allow the DHSC “to support scaling of Halo platform to enable rapid and secure development and hosting of Test and Trace cloud-based applications secured to NCSC standards, including 24/7 support for production services”, according to the contract-award notice.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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