BT's new NI Civil Service deal 'could be worth £400m'

Announcing the BT contract are (from left) Melanie McMordie, BT Enterprise PSSN business director; Paul Wickens, chief executive of enterprise shared services at NICS; Paul Murnaghan, BT Enterprise regional director NI; and Irene Kincaid, PSSN contract manager NICS. Photo: William Cherry/Press Eye

TELECOMS giant BT has secured the contract to provide services to the public sector in Northern Ireland for the next nine years in a deal which could be worth up to £400 million.

The Department of Finance has appointed the form to provide industry leading telecommunications services to all public sector bodies across Northern Ireland.

BT will deliver network and unified communication services including new hardware, software and network security services across eleven Government departments and other public sector bodies.

And while the contract is valued at around £50m over its nine-year term, this could soar to a maximum of £400m as other services and customers take advantage of the benefits the new network offers.

Paul Murnaghan, BT Enterprise's regional director in Northern Ireland, said: "We are committed to playing our part in helping to shape and deliver transformational public services for people across Northern Ireland now and into the future.

"This contract will see us deliver a commercially innovative communications framework, which will provide the building blocks for a future-proofed solution to meet the developing needs of public sector users and citizens. Connecting public sector employees, citizens and services in ways that haven't been possible before.

“We will ensure best value for money, providing the opportunity for all local communication providers to deliver their services.”

Paul Wickens, chief executive of enterprise shared services at the NI Civil Service, said: “This advanced network solution will allow us to provide high quality services.

"The new telecommunications infrastructure will replace a wide range of diverse networks. It offers high levels of security and operational stability, providing strong foundations for the new IT system for Northern Ireland's citizens, who make use of a variety of public sector services.”

The first core network services will be available for use by next summer, with BT managing the core telecommunications infrastructure, including business continuity plans for the network.

At group level, BT has revenues of more than £23 billion and in the year to last March posted a pre-tax profit of £2.6 billion.

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