The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is to spend £53m over the next seven years integrating its finance, personnel, payroll and procurement IT systems.
The contract, dubbed Prism, has been awarded to consultants Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.
It will allow the FCO to better manage its human and financial resources and meet key foreign policy objectives by providing officials with more accurate and up to date management information, according to Sir Michael Jay, head of the diplomatic service.
"We are committed to ensuring that we are equipped with the 21st century technology for a 21st century diplomatic service. By improving our working environment, Prism will benefit our employees and the wider public we serve," he said.
Prism will run on the FCO's existing IT infrastructure of Compaq servers and Microsoft Windows NT4 workstations which support 10,000 end users in 223 FCO departments around the world.
The FCO also wants to move to more packaged applications. One of the key stipulations when the contract went out to tender last year was that the consultant must develop bespoke software only where it is absolutely essential in meeting the FCO's core business requirements.
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