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Housing consortium's £500m software deal expects winners to adapt to legislation brought in to avoid another Grenfell

Outsourcing giant Wipro secures a spot among others

Wipro is among the tech suppliers on a £500m housing association framework agreement which is expected to flex to meet the needs of legislation resulting from the tragic Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people in a high rise London block.

The Communities and Housing Investment Consortium (CHIC) had awarded places on the eight-year deal, designed to provide housing associations and local authorities with software for the built environment, according to procurement documents.

The nine winners on the deal include Indian outsourcing firm Wipro, Illumar – which sells risk management data systems – and project management system provider Panacea Applications.

CHIC is a not-for-profit organisation. It currently has over a hundred members including housing associations and local authorities with housing stock, which service over half a million social housing homes across the UK. It already provides software, including the CHIC Order Management System, an online, browser-based ordering solution that features programme and catalogue management for members.

In a contract notice published in May, the consortium said it was now looking for off-the-shelf solutions as part of a £500m technology framework, but it also expected suppliers to develop software to meet the emerging Building Safety Bill 2020.

That bill was first published in draft in July 2020 to improve building and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire in West London which claimed 72 lives in June 2017. The tragedy exposed serious failings across the whole system of building and managing high-rise homes.

Intended to be the biggest improvements to building safety in nearly 40 years, the bill, which is currently in the Commons committee stage, describes the need for a "voluntary occurrence reporting system… to facilitate the voluntary giving of information about building safety to the person who operates the system." ®

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