LOL ;-) UK govt 2 pay £39m 4 txt msgs 4 less thn 2 yrs

Now that's an expensive contract

The UK government has let nearly £40m in contracts to a single supplier for a text message, email, and "letter management" platform.

According to a contract award notice published this week, MMGRP Limited was handed £21.6m to support GOV.UK Notify, a multi-channel digital communications platform.

"These messages will typically be status updates, requests for action, receipts of applications or supporting information, and reminders," the notice said.

The contract – which offers public-sector employed users to send emails, text messages, and letters to the great unwashed – is set to last just 9 months from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.

But the government had already signed a £17.5m deal to get the vendor to run the service from 1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Both deals were "call-offs" from a framework contract signed between MMGRP Limited and government procurement unit Crown Commercial Services.

GOV.UK Notify can be used by public-sector bodies including central government departments, local authorities, or the NHS. It also offers the ability to "integrate the Notify API with your web application or back-office system to send messages automatically," according to its website.

But clearly UK tax collector HMRC did not get the message. It separately contracted the vendor for a deal that ran from July 2019 to 31 March 2021 although the details were not published until March this year.

MMGRP Limited is the registered name of MMG, "a global leader in Secure Enterprise A2P SMS Messaging," according to its website. Its platform has connections to 800 carriers in over 200 countries and allows over 70,000 client connections per second via API. It claims to send more than 30,000 SMSes every second. ®

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