According to a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), the chosen organisation will have a majority shareholding in “DatacentreCo” – a new Cabinet Office-established firm that aims to provide datacentre co-location services.
The Departments involved are expecting to retain a minimum stake of 25% in the new company, while the successful bidder will gain a maximum of 75%.
The selected partner will be expected to provide datacentre space and other similar services in a four-year deal that is said to be worth up to £700m.
Initially the supplier will need to meet the official government security classification of “official,” but in the future may be required to be compliant with the “secret” and “top secret” levels.
Should the need arise for higher security classifications, a separate accreditation would have to take place, says the Cabinet Office.
The tender claims that the chosen provider must be able to deliver reliable, value for money, high-quality, efficient and secure datacentre facilities in the UK.
The OJEU notice claims that the Cabinet Office is hoping to achieve increased efficiency, better value for money, greater transparency over service use, cost and supplier margins and an increase in Agility by using a scalable, serviced-based model.
The Department also hopes the contract will help UK growth by making it easier for SMEs to compete for government business and enabling a broader range of suppliers.