Feeds

Hey, MoJ, we're not your Buddi: Brit firm abandons 'frustrating' crim-tagging contract

You want this developed from scratch AND all the IP rights?!

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Talks between the UK Ministry of Justice and British firm Buddi for a new system to electronically tag criminals have broken down after Buddi's founder claimed the MoJ wanted a system that was a "figment of their imagination".

Sara Murray, who is a member of business secretary Vince Cable's "entrepreneurs' panel", said in a leaked email to staff that the ministry wanted "the development of a product which does not yet exist".

Buddi said in a statement that it opted out of the contract after the MoJ changed the specifications of its requirements and expected the firm to develop and pay for the new tech and demanded that the firm hand over its intellectual property without any guarantees that it wouldn't be used by other companies.

"The MoJ have been an extraordinary diversion of much of our resources for two years now and this cannot continue, and we are excited for the prospects of the business now we are free of this unproductive and frustrating relationship," Murray wrote.

Buddi was due to do two things for the MoJ: upgrade the tags and replace contractors G4S and Serco, which are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for their existing MoJ contracts.

Three other firms, Capita, Astrium and Telefonica were also given the nod back in August to help tag and monitor offenders, after an extensive tendering process.

Existing tagging technology sends a fax to police stations if an offender leaves their home, but the new GPS-capable electronic tags would allow police to constantly monitor the location of offenders. Buddi was hired to provide the software and the tags themselves.

The ministry confirmed that it was no longer working with Buddi and that the two had decided to end their contract earlier this week. However, it claimed that despite the setback, it was still on track to deliver the new system by the end of this year.

"We have been unable to agree on certain technical and commercial aspects of the contract with Buddi to provide tags. We have therefore decided to recompete this element of the contract to ensure we deliver an efficient service that represents best value for hardworking taxpayers while protecting the public.

"Though we are disappointed not to have reached a solution that meets our needs with Buddi on this contract, we remain open to working with them in the future," the MoJ said in a statement.

The project, lauded by the justice secretary Chris Grayling as "the most advanced tagging system in the world", has already been delayed by 14 months.

Two companies, 3M and Steatite, missed out on preferred bidder status when Buddi won its part of the contract in August and are likely to be invited to bid again. Buddi's piece of the £1bn deal is believed to be worth around £300m. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?
EU reckons we've one foot out the door anyway
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.