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Over 9 months late, England's highways agency launches contract to buy £1bn in IT

Rebranded org now calling itself National Highways

National Highways, the UK government-owned company responsible for roads in England, is planning to spend up to £1bn on tech over the next four years via another framework.

Formerly known as Highways England, the operation is looking for tech suppliers to support its strategic aims: building, maintaining and improving roads, operating the road network and providing services, such as journey information, to road users.

The contract notice was due to be published in December 2020, according to a prior information notice first published in August of that year. In fact, it did not appear until late last week.

National Highways has yet to explain the delay but since that early market engagement with suppliers, the emphasis of the procurement has shifted.

The initial approach to the market described four lots including services and solutions; technical specialist services; professional services in IT; and IT products and managed services.

Now there are 18 lots, split into:

  1. Asset management
  2. Corporate systems
  3. Architectural design services
  4. Software development services
  5. Cyber security and data protection
  6. Digital and data
  7. Infrastructure and platform design
  8. Service management and transition
  9. Business engagement
  10. Strategy
  11. Transformation and performance delivery
  12. IT commercial, procurement and financial
  13. Software (off-the-shelf and SaaS)
  14. Workplace hardware
  15. Hardware infrastructure and platforms
  16. Infrastructure and platform
  17. Multi-service provision
  18. Multi-discipline provision

All contracts are expected to last for four years.

The latest tender was published after an Operational Technology Commercial Framework, worth around £500m, appeared in July.

In 2019, the publicly owned company published an Information Vision and Strategy. In it, the organisation said it would increasingly use digital design and construction, develop operational technology that would enable it to monitor and manage traffic, and provide data to help road users be better informed about their journeys. ®

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