Supplier drops injunction preventing Home Office contract award

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
16 December 2015

A supplier has dropped its injunction that was preventing the UK government awarding a contract for the mobile network for the emergency services.

Airwave Solutions – the incumbent supplier – has lodged a legal challenge regarding the contract for lot three of the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme. The firm said the legal action would continue but the suspension that was preventing the award process moving forward has been withdrawn. Lot three is for the provision of a mobile services network for the police, fire and ambulance services. The deal has now been awarded to EE.

Airwave said in a statement: “We do not believe that bidders, including Airwave, were given equal treatment under relevant procurement laws and we have therefore made a claim in order to protect our position for any loss suffered.

“We are not pursuing the continuation of a suspension as we do not wish to delay the procurement process, but remain fully committed to our claim related to the lot three process."

Motorola Solutions – the preferred bidder for the second lot of the contract – announced it would acquire Airwave for $1.2 billion at the beginning of December.

Kellogg Brown & Root was named as the delivery partner in August. Other bidders for lot three were Telefonica, UK Broadband Networks and Vodafone.

Mike Penning, minister for policing, said: “This is welcome news. This Government committed an additional £1 billion to overhaul the emergency services network in the spending review, and we are now clear to get on with the job of providing the faster, cheaper and smarter communications network that can meet the challenges of the future."

The emergency services currently use a private mobile radio system, but the new contract will see a switch to a commercial network from mid-2017, when the current deal with Airwave begins to expire.

The case was scheduled to be heard at the High Court last week, but the withdrawal of the suspension means the case will now be heard in the new year.

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