See also: London Fire Brigade CIO profile

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) has awarded a £19.6 million contract for control room services and mobilisation and communications technologies to Capita.

Under the 10-year with four-year extension option contract, Capita will provide managed technology services, including software and hardware.

“The solution provided by Capita will allow multiple, complementary applications to reside on a single computer within the control room, creating savings, ensuring reliability and integrity and reducing power usage,” according to the contract announcement.

The solution will also be integrated with the LFEPA’s existing systems, and in the long term make it easier to implement technological innovation, according to the outsourcer.

However, the scope of the contract is smaller than when it was first announced in March 2012, Sarah Burnett, analyst at NelsonHall pointed out.

In March, Capita was announced to be providing a replacement of the LFEPA’s control room system and to be outsourcing its functions, with around 120 people expected to transfer to Capita.

“The signed contract covers only managed technology services without the day-to-day running of the control room functions. There was internal opposition to the outsourcing deal, which led to the reduced scope following a meeting of LFEPA on 21 June 2012,” said Burnett.

“This must be a slight disappointment to Capita, which has built a strong presence in the emergency services sector through acquisition of technology such as radio systems with Sungard Public Sector and control room software with Foretek Computers.

“However, Capita has not penetrated the sector’s BPO (business process outsourcing) market except for some occupational health and pensions administration services. As the sector opens up to outsourcing, it is important for Capita to gain a track record of more sector-specific BPO such as control room operations. In this, it lags behind Steria.”

She added: “The running of the 999 call centre operations for the LFEPA would have strengthened Capita’s bid for West Mindlands Police tender, which is on hold until after the PCC (Police and Crime Commissioners) elections in November.”