HM Revenue and Customs has signed up to use the emergency services' digital communications network. It has announced a £60m, 15 year contract that will provide its Criminal Investigation and Detection teams with access to the digital radio and data network. This will include the roll out of 4,000 connections and the …
Carts and Horses
So we have a communications system that was illegally contracted without tender, has been passed to multiple companies, doesn't work properly and is late being completely deployed for its original purpose.
What to do then? Focus on getting the whole shambles in some sort of order and get the damn thing working properly first? Or ignore all that and just keep taking more public money for the promise of supplying the service to other agencies? I'll take door number B please.
Does it take photos too?
Wow, that "mobile phone" contract doesn't look too good! A cost of £1000 per "phone" per year to get unlimited calls restricted to the network, and a large data limit? Do they get free handset upgrades?
Commercially, (small) business contracts with unlimited calls to users on the same network start below £200 per year. Adding a generous data allowance might push it to £300 per year. Add a top end handset, perhaps throw in GPS for a one off payment of £200. Add in bulk discounts for a large "business", and the £60m cost to the taxpayer looks stupid.
The control room can also be scaled back, as technical support is provided by the phone company.