Fujitsu lands on Ministry of Fun's grey list for broadband bids
'High risk' suppliers earn extra probing, warns DCMS
After Fujitsu was flagged up as being too "high risk" to take on public sector contracts for the Cabinet Office, The Register wanted to know if the same blacklisting policy applied over at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Here's what a spokesman at Maria Miller's department told us:
The suppliers appointed to the BDUK [broadband delivery UK] framework are Fujitsu and BT. Frameworks are within the scope of HMG's supplier performance policy, and any supplier identified as high risk will be scrutinised particularly carefully before the award of further work.
So there you have it.
The Cabinet Office has, for the time being, declined to hand any new business to Japanese tech giant Fujitsu, reportedly after a previous patient records' fiasco involving a £900m government IT contract.
Officially, it has said:
We want to strengthen our contract management by reporting on supplier's performance against criteria and sharing the information across government. This means that information on a supplier's performance will be available and taken into consideration at the start of and during the procurement process (pre-contract). Suppliers with poor performance may therefore find it more difficult to secure new work with HMG.
This policy will include the identification of any high-risk suppliers so that performance issues are properly taken into account before any new contracts are given.
The Home Office has also indicated that it considers Fujitsu too high risk to bid for new public sector deals and should not expect to see existing agreements renewed.
But the DCMS is arguably in a slightly stickier place - given that it faces warnings about stifling competition in the broadband market from officials in the European Commission.
If it decides not to award contracts to Fujitsu - which is the only other networking outfit tendering to procure BDUK funds for local council broadband projects - then, arguably, Miller could struggle to get state aid clearance from the EC.
That money is yet to be released while the competition commissioner's office in Brussels investigates the dominance of national telco BT in securing the government broadband investment in the UK.
We asked Joaquin Almunia's spokeswoman if Brussels was aware of Fujitsu being frozen out of bidding for various government contracts here in Blighty because of its "high risk" status, and to also provide El Reg with an update on state aid. She was unable to comment on the specifics about Fujitsu, but did tell us:
Discussions with the UK are indeed ongoing regarding the umbrella scheme to cover the superfast broadband in all rural regions.
Fujitsu told The Reg on Wednesday that its status for bidding for Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds remained unchanged. ®