Transport for London (TfL) is keen to bring some competition and innovation into two major contracts worth up to £1 billion, currently held by IBM.

The market testing excercise covers two IT systems for London’s Congestion Charging and Low Emission Zone schemes, and the penalty charge notice processing for civil traffic enforcement contraventions.

IBM’s contract to run the systems comes up for renewal in October 2014, and could be extended for up to a further five years, but TfL wants to assess what new technologies are available in the market and whether a different supplier could ensure better value for money.

A new supplier would be required to design, build, configure, test and implement the new systems, as well as carry out ongoing support and maintenance.

TfL has said that it isn’t ruling out extending IBM’s contract, but it wants to explore other options and ensure that it is receiving the best value for money possible.

“The contracts for the operation of London’s Congestion Charging and Low Emission Zone schemes and the Penalty Charge Notice processing for civil traffic enforcement contraventions are approaching their expiry dates,” said Nick Fairholme, TfL’s Director of Congestion Charging and Traffic Enforcement.

“As such, we have issued an OJEU notice seeking expressions of interest from companies who may wish to provide these services in the future.”

He added: “This is normal business practice and the process will enable us to understand our options and whether there are benefits in potentially combining some contracts that were previously separate.”

Those interested in participating in the tender process have until 7th January to contact TfL.

Earlier this year TfL revealed that it would be extending its outsourcing arrangement with CSC. Under the new £21 million deal, which will run for 27 months, CSC will provide service desk and desktop support services, understood to be based on a BMC tool.