Child court service signs up for £25m shared services deal

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has signed a £25m deal to join the Flex transformational government framework.

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The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has signed a £25m deal to join the Flex transformational government framework.

The shared services programme Flex allows Fujitsu Services in conjunction with the Cabinet Office to provide information and communication technology (ICT) as a shared service across the public sector.

Cafcass said the deal will cut costs and reduce the total cost of ownership for ICT, as well as help the body achieve the government carbon emission targets.

The seven year contract will include a complete refresh of both hardware and software after four years, and covers a mix of laptops and thin-client devices, service desk and server management and disaster recovery.

Under the deal, Fujitsu will also manage desktops for 2,000 users across 100 offices, as well as provide a new suite of Office applications and manage Cafcass's current business applications. It also expects the shared services contract to improve security for employees working remotely from family courts, home or from other Government offices.

Lamorna Wooderson, corporate director at Cafcass, said Cafcass has a significant change agenda planned over the next few years.

“The Flex framework offers a modern IT infrastructure, with improved levels of service and support and access to a range of consultancy skills and experience," said Wooderson. "Improvements in the security and protection of data were also a top priority for us - as a department which looks after the interests of children this is vital. Through Flex, our staff will be able to work more effectively and efficiently whilst working remotely but with the confidence that sensitive data will not be compromised.”

The transformation project contract, which will take approximately 8 months, will start in October of this year. All aspects of the project will be managed to ITIL standards and government restricted security levels and provided from Fujitsu secure datacentres.

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