Public Services > Blue Light

West Midlands launches PSN bid

David Bicknell Published 16 April 2013

ITT released to suppliers on framework with decision expected in August


Plans to procure a public services network (PSN) for the West Midlands are underway with the release of an invitation to tender (ITT) to suppliers on the PSN framework.

The procurement, which is being led by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, is expected to take four months, with a chosen supplier expected to be announced in mid-August.

The West Midlands PSN (WMPSN) covers a geographic spread from Coventry and Warwickshire, through Birmingham and the Black Country and includes Worcestershire and the Malvern Hills, extending as far as Staffordshire and Herefordshire. It also includes representative public sector organisations in the NHS, fire and police services.

Solihull's head of ICT Steve Halliday, who chairs the WMPSN management board said that although it has taken time to confirm which public services organisations would be involved in the West Midlands PSN, progress had been relatively quick.

"We had someone from the Cabinet Office with us recently and they were impressed how quickly we had moved. We've chosen to use the PSN connectivity framework rather than go out to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Later we'll probably use the PSN framework for services too."

According to Halliday, the WMPSN procurement currently comprises those 'Tier One' organisations that had an urgent need to move to PSN as their wide area network contracts needed renewal or replacement - for example Solihull, Birmingham City Council, Herefordshire and Warwickshire - and other 'Tier 2' organisations that were still interested in joining a West Midlands PSN, but whose needs were not as great e.g. West Midlands Police and Staffordshire County Council.

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