The Commercial team, working closely with both forces and providers, has been instrumental in achieving national agreement regarding the uplifting of contracts with traditional forensic service providers.
These uplifts were based on its detailed market analysis, financial assessments and recommendations. It also provided expert advice and support to the strategic Gold steering group, as well as leading the Silver tactical response and contingency planning. This, together with face-to-face negotiations with the main providers at a national level, has helped to stabilise the traditional forensic services market for the time being whilst a longer-term market strategy is developed and implemented. Work on the latter has already started, with Commercial now mapping the entire landscape of forensic service contracts between law enforcement agencies and their providers, as well as the various sub-contracting arrangements that constitute the broader supply chain.
In addition, Commercial is:
- supporting the current NPCC Silver Group work developing contingency plans in case of future supplier insolvency or market exit;
- supporting the Randox Gold and Silver Groups and NPCC Toxicology Capacity and Forensic Telecommunications Services Silver Groups with their strategic marketplace approach;
- supporting the updating of the forensics market place risk register;
- reviewing the forensic services supply chain for potential Brexit impacts and working with suppliers to ensure that sufficient contingency planning is taking place to mitigate delays to inbound supplies resulting from the United Kingdom exiting the European Union.
Commercial is working closely with the NPCC Long-Term Forensic Market Strategy Board to develop a long-term marketplace strategy for traditional and digital forensics. The ultimate aim is to establish a single law enforcement voice to the market.
To ensure that this strategy is built upon solid foundations, Commercial is currently helping to shape the commercial aspects of the forthcoming capability maturity model exercise for digital forensics, which will capture a robust baseline of law enforcement / supplier contractual relationships.
In addition, Commercial is currently supporting the collaborative procurement of mobile device data extraction and reporting solutions. Commercial has been carrying out research and liaising with forces and providers in relation to the digital forensic services marketplace to develop guidance and potential options in the event of a quality issue occurring in this marketplace.
In due course, it will also support the market strategy and procurement of new digital forensic capabilities emanating from Science e.g. the automated mass ingestion and remote search and review capabilities case study described in the Science chapter.
As set out in the following Operations chapter, the Transforming Forensics Programme is developing an ICT platform and a range of new capabilities to support the FCN.
To support this, Commercial is developing national model document sets; guidance for practitioners within the FCN community and contract / service management protocols for working with third parties, such as the Police ICT Company and other key service providers. Commercial is also now managing the contracts with the Transforming Forensics Programme’s development suppliers and extending them, as appropriate, to cover DevOps and cloud hosting capabilities.