Government names preferred bidders for electronic tagging contract

The Ministry of Justice has selected preferred bidders for four contracts to deliver new satellite technology to track the movement of offenders in the community, including outsourcing giant Capita and British family-run company buddi (release).

It’s the first time the service has been let nationally, and is expected to generate significant efficiency savings for the ministry and facilitate the introduction of more advanced GPS-based technology. Astrium and Telef√≥nica, have also been announced as preferred bidders.

Current suppliers G4S and Serco will continue with their existing contracts for a transitional period. These companies withdrew their offers following allegations of overcharging.

Capita said the contract it has been named preferred bidder for could be worth £400m in additional revenues over the next six years, assuming an increase in use beyond current levels.

Capita chief executive Paul Pindar said:

When fully live, this is expected to be the largest, single and most advanced 'tagging' system in the world.

This integrated service will play a key role in providing better alternatives to short prison sentences, allowing more tailored curfew and location monitoring, and better management of subjects under electronic monitoring orders.

It will offer a balance of monitoring and mentoring and help to achieve the Government's broader objective of reducing re-offending while being run to the highest possible standards of governance and transparency.

This also represents a big step for buddi, which creates GPS-based personal alarm systems.

Founder Sara Murray said:

As a British company we are absolutely delighted to have been recognised by the Government as one of the preferred bidders. It is the result of many years of hard work by the buddi team and the value of the technology buddi has developed in the criminal justice system. Obviously this is a significant win for the company and we now look forward to working with the MoJ to deliver on this contract.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said today's announcement is "the start of a revolution in how we supervise offenders".

We are now going to be able to track offenders wherever they go, twenty four hours a day. And we will be able to stop them going to places we don’t want them going to go - like paedophiles hanging around outside schools. All of this is going to be done with world class British technology designed and built by the kind of business we want government to work with more.’

With Buddi forming part of today’s announcement it sends an important message to the market – Government is serious about making our contracts accessible to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).