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?!

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.