23 June 2005 | Anusha Bradley
The Home Office has signed an IT contract with Microsoft that will save £8 million over three years across 70 police and criminal justice organisations.
They include 43 police forces, the Prison Service, the Crown Prosecution Service and the UK Passport Service.
Between them, the organisations represent 230,000 public-sector desktop computer users.
A Home Office spokesman refused to reveal the value of the deal, citing commercial sensitivity, but said the savings would form a "significant" percentage of the total.
The department said updating the software across the departments will not only save money, but also enable the criminal justice bodies to share data such as fingerprints and court records more easily.