So lemme get this straight. UK.gov ministries are getting better value from AWS... by spending more on AWS?

One Government Value Agreement working as intended, we see


The UK's Home Office has handed AWS a fresh four-year hosting contract worth up to £120m under the One Government Value Agreement, just weeks after the Department for Work and Pensions renewed its vows with the US cloud biz.

The deal agreed with the Home Office replaces one that was inked with AWS in December last year valued at up to £100m and was also scheduled to run until November 2023.

There is scant detail about the contract on Gov.uk's own pages, save to say that it started on 1 December, a day after the previous one was closed prematurely, and it is not suitable for SMEs to add their products or serivces into the mix, i.e - this hosting gig is only for AWS.

Presumably the Home Office decided to end the previous hosting contract early because of the extra discounts negotiated under the One Government Value Agreement (OGVA), although El Reg has not seen the price list to determine how much more value those negotiations wrung out of vendors.

To date, Microsoft, Google, UKCloud, IBM, HPE and, most recently, AWS joined the programme last month. At the time, AWS told us members of its 150-strong Partner Network – small and large resellers, service providers, and consultancies – will also get a slice of its government work.

Another government department to have hitched its wagon to the OGVA is the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), which performed a seemingly similar switcheroo, although it did say it agreed to the vastly more expensive contract because the original was "currently not delivering best value for money".

In this instance, the original DWP contract started on 1 August 2019 and was due to end on 31 July 2021. While the contract value was listed at £1,538,461, a glimpse inside showed the initial invoice would be $2m, with a second Reserved Instance (RI) purchase due in December 2019 to the tune of $1.968m. The total, therefore, came to $3.968m, which the DWP handily converted to £3,095,040.

The Order Form, issued under the G-Cloud 10 Framework Agreement, listed the total Call-Off contract value from which the charges can be drawn as being £18.269m.

However, these sums were not deemed value for money by the DWP and so it cancelled the contract and made an even juicier award to AWS under the G-Cloud 12 Framework Agreement. With nearly a year still to run on the previous contract, the OVGA card was played and the DWP signed up to a contract starting in December 2020 that would see it handing over $24.5m per year for three years, making a grand total of $73.5m (or £57m at a pre-Brexit pegged exchange rate of £0.78166 to $1).

Things could, however, end up considerably dearer. While the value of the contract was listed at between £18m-£57m, the spend could reach $110.25m (or 150 per cent of the original spend commitment) before the procurement process has to kick off again.

The Register has asked AWS, the Home Office and the DWP to comment. After all, this could be a bundling up of old work under a new regime to save costs amid the government's desire for a migration cloudwards. Alternatively, when faced with spiralling costs, departments have simply opted to double-down with team Bezos. Lucky old AWS.

We will update should a statement be forthcoming. ®


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