Public Services > Devolved

Scotland issues SWAN framework tender

David Bicknell Published 15 November 2012

Wide area network intended to be used by every public sector body, university and college in Scotland


The Scottish Government has issued a tender for a single wide area network service to be used by public service organisations within Scotland.

The tender, for the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) framework, argues that ICT in the public sector is vital for the delivery of efficient, cost effective services which are responsive to the needs of citizens and businesses, and for meeting the business needs of the organisations who are themselves responsible for service delivery.

The aim of the SWAN initiative is to deliver a 'single, holistic telecommunications service available for the use of any, and potentially all, public service organisations within Scotland. SWAN will enable infrastructure and service sharing and will over time replace the existing model where individual organisations procure, implement and maintain their own network infrastructure,' the tender says.

The SWAN initiative, the tender adds, is strategically aligned with the McClelland Review of Scottish Public Sector ICT Infrastructure and takes forward its recommendations, particularly on public sector collaborative procurement, aggregation of network demand and use of common standards. It is the first major initiative to be launched by Scottish ministers in support of the 'Scotland's Digital Future; Delivery of Public Services' strategy.

The McClelland Review, published in June 2011, recommended that:

  • The few large and many other multiple small contracts should be aggregated to build a single Scottish Public Sector Network that adopts the standards and protocols of the UK PSN.
  • The combined spend should be leveraged to gain cost and performance advantages for the public sector.
  • The network should be used by every public sector body, university and college in Scotland.

The infrastructure will be designed and built so that SWAN can support both PSN compliant services and non PSN compliant services. It is intended to:

  • be a high-availability secure and resilient network for the public sector
  • underpin secure and efficient information sharing between related public service sectors such as health, social care, police and justice
  • increase opportunities to share buildings and reduce estate costs
  • improve data access and sharing for project teams and citizen participation in service delivery.
  • enable genuine ICT enabled shared services such as cloud computing, as well as enable a location independent workforce - saving costs and increasing productivity
  • remove duplication in existing ICT provision, and streamline how ICT is specified, procured and operated

Initial responses to the tender's questionnaire should be returned by 27th November, with an invitation to participate in dialogue expected from 5th December.


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