The FCN is helping to stabilise the fragile Digital Forensic Services marketplace by encouraging police forces and law enforcement agencies to utilise their DF Services National DPS. The DPS facilitates standardisation in the DF services marketplace as organisations adopt the same specification, terms and conditions and at times ITT template. It is also more efficient for Forensic Service Providers and facilitates a quicker return on bids. It aligns with the NPCC’s aspiration for policing to adopt a singular approach to the marketplace. We’re also working with the Forensic Science Regulator to ensure the DPS is future proofed to align with the new version of the Forensic Science Regulator’s Codes.

FCN Technical Commercial Officer (Digital Forensics) Ruth Hinks has been reviewing the further competition documentation, which has significantly reduced the number of clarification questions, helped suppliers to understand the requirements of participating authorities in more detail, supporting the bid process and sustainable pricing. This helps ensure participating authorities receive the best possible responses to their further competitions.

So far 26 contracts have been awarded, including Staffordshire Police who outsource regularly and West Midlands Police who outsource during periods of high demand. Three participating authorities are in the process of running their further competitions or in an implementation period and five participating authorities are preparing to run their further competitions in the coming months. Interest in the DPS is continually growing as we engage with more and more forces and law enforcement agencies about how to use it and the resulting benefits.

Ruth said:

“I have been working very closely with participating authorities throughout the further competition process. This has significantly improved further competitions in general which in turn supports the fragile digital forensic marketplace. This has also ensured the DPS is used in a consistent manner so the benefits of it are realised.”

Neil Thompson from West Midlands Police said

“I cannot fault the support and guidance received from Ruth and the FCN Commercial Team during our recent competition via the Digital Forensic Services National DPS. Providing easy access to the market and a standardised approach, we were able to complete our exercise in a really efficient manner which ultimately helped deal with a period of exceptionally high demand.”

Another participating authority said:

“Working with commercial colleagues in FCN has been a pleasure. We really appreciated their subject matter expertise, support and patience. We were provided with useful advice about how the DF Services National DPS could be utilised to meet our requirement. The award stage was well prepared and easy to use.”

There are now 25 suppliers on the Digital Forensic Services National DPS across 27 lots covering mainstream services like computer and mobile device analysis to more niche services like audio analysis.

If you want to know more about the DPS and how it can help you, please get in touch with Ruth.

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