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The government will renew hundreds of outsourcing contracts in their current form because the burden of Brexit means civil servants are too busy to negotiate new deals.

According to the The Financial Times, more than 250 contracts – including IT and business process outsourcing-related deals – are currently up for renewal but are expected to be extended.

The Financial Times quoted a government procurement source who said contract renegotiations had been pushed down the civil service priority list due to Brexit.

Capgemini’s £800m-a-year Aspire contract with HMRC, which the government department is currently transitioning away from, could be extended.

But Mark Lewis, outsourcing lawyer at Berwin Leighton Paisner, said the biggest impact that Brexit will have on government outsourcing is more likely to be delays on policy making rather than contract agreements.

“The skill sets that are needed in government for negotiating Brexit are largely very different from those needed to review, rework, test or renew major outsourcing contracts,” he said.

“There will be some overlap, but it is hard to imagine at this time in the government cycle that the Crown Commercial Services and other major departments are simply going to roll over contracts without another look.”

But he said, in contrast, ministers could be distracted by Brexit, which could have a major impact on outsourcing policy making.

The Cabinet Office said: “The government is focused on delivering our commitment to leave the European Union and getting the very best deal for the UK, and we are equipping ourselves with the right people and the right skills across government to make this happen.”

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