The Department of Health has awarded a seven year contract to outsource its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to Computer Sciences Limited.

The new contract, valued in excess of £40 million, covers services including telephony, videoconferencing, desktop and help desk support, and will cover approximately 600 DH staff. The contract has provisions for three additional one-year options with unspecified value.

CSC will replace Fujitsu who provided the Department of Health’s ICT services between 1996 – 2002.

"The Department is pleased to be signing the contract with CSC and looks forward to an alliance which will support and enhance the Department’s information and communications technology investments," said Dr. Andrew Holt, director of IT within the Department of Health.

Dr Holt added: "Through this contract, we are looking to gain an increase in effectiveness through remote and offsite working, in addition to achieving greater connectivity and communication across networks with the National Health Service and other partner institutions."

CSC was selected after a full European procurement process, and evaluation of proposals from three short-listed suppliers: Computer Sciences Limited, Fujitsu and SchlumbergerSema.

CSC has a number of private sector customers in the UK but this contract marks their re-entry into a central government department for some time.

The contract will run for a minimum of 7 years. A programme to ensure a smooth hand over to CSC will take place over the summer of 2002.