The Foreign Office has signed a five-year £11.5m deal with LogicaCMG to replace its web platform and upgrade its website.
Logica will manage the roll out of the new platform to more than 200 embassies, consulates and high commissions worldwide and provide consultancy to increase visitor numbers, improve usability, minimise security risks and ensure that the website can meet high demand peaks.
The Foreign Office site receives 24m visitors a year, including people seeking advice about travel abroad. But traffic can shoot up rapidly at times of high demand, with a five-fold increase reported at the time of the 2004 South Asia tsunami disaster.
Logica will subcontract web design work to XMLondon and content management to Mediasurface, while Verizon will provide hosting support. The new global web platform is expected to go live in 2008.
Foreign Office permanent under-secretary Peter Ricketts said: "The new FCOWeb platform marks a significant development for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in delivering a more robust and efficient web service for users in the UK and across the world.”
The new platform would make the Foreign Office more accessible and improve its service delivery over the next decade, he added.