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IBM beats CapGemini to Defra deal

300 IT staff on the move

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Over 300 government IT staff will transfer to IBM as part of an outsourcing deal that will see the tech giant take over the day-to-day running of IT systems for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), for up to 17 years.

Under the terms of the contract, IBM will manage, support and upgrade Defra's desktop IT infrastructure and business systems. IBM beat Capgemini to the contract, part of the government's overarching modernisation programme, after what ministers described as a "rigorous evaluation process".

Alun Michael, Minister of state for rural affairs, said the agreement will create capacity to accelerate the department's pace of change. IBM is also expected to provide "a continuous source of technology and business process innovation", according to a statement issued last week.

The finer points of the deal are still being worked out, and should be settled within a matter of weeks. This period will also see a detailed consultation with trade unions over the transfer of staff.

The deal will run for between seven and ten years, with an option to extend for a further seven once the initial contract is completed. ®

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