Atos Origin resumes government projects

The company has seen a number of projects kept on by the government, and has retained all of its contracts, following renegotiations with the Cabinet Office

A number of Atos Origin IT projects have been resumed by the government, following cost-cutting contract renegotiations.

IT projects from government suppliers were put on hold in July, pending negotiations with the Cabinet Office. Atos Origin announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding about IT provision with the government on Friday.

"These important negotiations mark the start of a new era for Atos Origin," said the company's UK chief executive Keith Wilman in a statement. "We have the expertise to drive transformation through innovative commercial and technology solutions and fully support the UK government."

All of Atos Origin's contracts will stay in place, while a certain number of projects within those contracts will continue, an Atos Origin spokeswoman told ZDNet UK on Monday. However, she declined to say how many or which projects will be kept on by the government.

Atos Origin contracts include the provision of medical assessment services for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), and IT infrastructure services for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The MoJ contract includes managing over 30,000 desktops at more than 700 locations. The company also has a contract with the Home Office to provide IT services to 24,000 users across the Home Office and UK Border Agency (UKBA), managing applications for UKBA.

The projects that will continue are linked to Atos Origin's main outsourcing contracts, said the spokesperson.

The government's cost-cutting contract renegotiations began in July, and involved companies including HP, BT, Capgemini, Fujitsu, Capita, IBM, Telereal Trillium, Atos Origin, CSC, Logica, Steria, Oracle, Siemens, Cable & Wireless, Microsoft, Accenture, Serco, G4S and Vodafone.

The Cabinet Office on Monday declined to say which Atos Origin projects had been resumed. However, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said in a statement that the government renegotiations with all of the suppliers will save "hundreds of millions of pounds".

"Over the next few weeks as the agreements are signed, I expect to see immediate and big savings for taxpayers," said Maude "We're not talking about small numbers here, but a total running into hundreds of millions of pounds."

Maude added that the government had set a strict timetable for the renegotiations, and that Atos Origin had been the first to come to an agreement.

"We set ourselves a difficult challenge," said Maude. "Renegotiating contracts in this way had never been done by government before. But, the current financial situation meant there was simply no time to waste and we are delighted that Atos Origin are the first to sign."