The DWP and BT have agreed arrangements which will give the Department a modernised communications network to provide customers with a more reliable, better performing service.
This agreement is a result of a contract realignment which simplifies the complex structure of separate contracts inherited by the DWP when it was created out of the former Department of Social Security and Department for Education and Employment. The realigned contract brings together and standardises the different historical arrangements and ensures competitive, benchmarked prices for the services BT delivers. The services, based on IP communications, takes advantage of the flexibility and effectiveness of BTs 21st Century Network (21CN) programme, designed to transform the entire communications infrastructure in the UK by the end of this decade.
Commenting on the realigned contract, Leigh Lewis, Permanent Secretary at the DWP, stressed that This contract realignment is a vital part in the Departments modernisation programme. It paves the way for the Department to receive the most modern communications infrastructure in the country enabling us to meet increased demand on communications as we become a more customer focused organisation. By 2007/08 the Department will have redeployed 10,000 staff to customer facing posts and this agreement will play a critical part in reaching our £1billion year on year efficiency saving .
Over the next five and a half years, the Department will be spending around £870m including VAT on services delivered by BT. This will enable the Department to modernise its infrastructure to improve services for customers who are often the most vulnerable in society.
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