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August 19, 2015

Whitehall signs deal with Oracle despite cutback rumours

Procurement agreement extends three-year-old deal to save £75m.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Oracle inked a deal to provide more services to the British government on Wednesday, despite persistent rumours that Whitehall is seeking to reduce its reliance on Big Red.

The plans extend a previous agreement between the software vendor and the civil service back in 2012, which at the time the government claimed would save £75m by buying discount software across departments.

This time round no figure was given for how much money would be saved, if any, but the deal was said to include the NHS, as well as other bodies not included in the previous agreement.

Sally Collier, chief executive of the Crown Commercial Service, said: "The enhanced [memo] will deliver savings across government and allow easier and more effective procurement of Oracle products and services.

"It lays the foundation of a more collaborative relationship between government and Oracle."

The news comes only a few weeks after a Whitehall memo leaked to the Register in which the Cabinet Office, which works with the prime minister, asked departments to "get rid of Oracle".

TechMarketView, a research firm, claim the British government spent £290m on Oracle products and services for the public sector in 2013.

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Commenting on the extension, Dermot O’Kelly, boss of Oracle’s UK operations, said: "We are delighted to demonstrate our commitment to the agenda of the new government in saving money and delivering leading-edge information technology to help transform public services.

"We look forward to continued productive and mutually beneficial relationships with our public sector customers."

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