New electronic tagging contract to give better value than previous deals, says justice minister

Gurjit Degun
21 July 2014

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21 July 2014 | Gurjit Degun

The new government contract for the provision of electronic tagging services will allow it “far greater oversight over costs and charging than previously”.

Justice secretary Chris Grayling announced last week that Airbus Defence and Space, Capita, Steatite, and Telefonica have been awarded the contract. He said the companies will work together “to introduce the most advanced tracking technology in the world”.

“This follows a rigorous competitive process and is a critical milestone in the programme to introduce the new arrangements,” said Grayling. “Capita will manage the overall service under a six-year contract, with Airbus providing satellite mapping and Telefonica supplying the network under three-year contracts.

“The new tags will be supplied by the British company Steatite, and will be a significant improvement on the tags currently in use, exploiting the latest technology to locate and track subjects.”

The Ministry of Justice told SM that the Capita contract has a net present cost of £228.8 million, the Airbus Defence and Space contract has a net present cost of £10.4 million, Steatite's contract has a net present cost of £23.2 million and the contract with Telefonica has a net present cost of £3.2 million.

Grayling added the new contracts offer better value for money, delivering estimated average annual savings of £20 million after the second and third year of operation, “relative to the previous contracts with G4S and Serco”.

“The contracts will also provide us with far greater oversight over costs and charging than previously, with direct access to suppliers’ systems and extensive audit rights,” said Grayling.

The MoJ plans to start using the new tags by the end of the year.

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