« Understanding the way that government reacts, the way it behaves, its requirements, are vital and SCC provide that. They are known to government and they make it easy for us in lots of ways. »
Colin Dobell, Managing Director
Mitie Care & Custody turn to SCC to deliver a secure IT infrastructure, underpinning their 10 year Escorting Services contract for the Home Office
Mitie Group, the well-respected FTSE listed company, provides facilities management, consultancy, project management and a range of specialist services that connect people with innovation and technology. Over the last decade they have become the largest supplier of immigration detention services to the UK government with a turnover of over £100million per annum. The business unit within the Mitie Group delivering the Escorting Services contract is known as Mitie Care & Custody.
- Small mobilisation timeframe
- Stringent Home Office Security requirements
- Delivery across secure WAN of secure email, remote access, device management, managed and hosted device services
- Multiple sites
- SCC’s Sentinel platform selected as cornerstone of project
- Sentinel was the first Pan-Government Accredited Public Sector platform
- Use of SCC’s multiple solutions across entire range of IT requirements
- Platform design included access for all users to critical business applications by other Mitie partners
“Our ethos is that we are here to deliver a public service and deliver that to the best of our ability.” Explains Colin Dobell, Managing Director at Mitie Care & Custody. “We partner with government and we are a trusted partner of government.”
In December 2017, Care & Custody was awarded their largest services contract, to date, directly from the Home Office. This 10 year contract valued at over £500 million includes: The management of Vehicle Bases, Holding Rooms, Reporting Centres and Short Term Holding Facilities across the UK and in Coquelles / Calais. They deliver integrated services by escorting detainees to and from: Police custody, Prisons, Ports, IRCs, Reporting Centres and Asylum Immigration Tribunal’s. For those Detainees allocated to IRC’s, C&C provide safe, secure and decent conditions pending the outcome of their case. When a decision is made to deport a detainee, they manage their safe and effective removal to a country of origin specified by the Home Office via scheduled or chartered flights.
The contract had a go live date of 1 May 2018, providing a short mobilisation timescale of 5 months only from contract award. Therefore the partner selection to deliver the underpinning IT platform was critical to the successful delivery of the initial mobilisation project.
Building on a successful existing relationship, Mitie engaged with SCC, who, within the overall delivery plan, had just 4 months to design and implement a secure IT platform, with associated services, that would mobilise the Mite Care & Custody workforce to enable their service delivery for this Home Office contract.
With this small mobilisation timeframe Mitie required a complete outsourced IT infrastructure that could be purchased ‘off the shelf’ and be ready for use within 5 months. This would be a challenge in any situation, but additionally this platform had to meet stringent Home Office security requirements.
Paul Morrison, Contract Director at Mitie Care & Custody explains “We needed a bespoke, off the shelf package [Sentinel from SCC] And we needed that in a very short time frame to fairly stringent home office requirements. SCC provided that option for us.”
“We needed a bespoke, off the shelf package [Sentinel from SCC] And we needed that in a very short time frame to fairly stringent home office requirements. SCC provided that option for us.”
Paul Morrison, Contract Director, Mitie Care & Custody
“The contract had a ‘go live’ date of 1st May 2018 which gave us a very small mobilisation window of only 5 months from the contract award,” commented Iain Hepburn, IS Mobilisation Lead, Mitie Care & Custody, “And to achieve that mobilisation window the selection of the solution and the partner was essential.”
A combination of devices, from desktop to hand-held devices were needed, within a secure WAN to all sites in scope. Across this secured WAN was the delivery of secure email, remote access, mobile device management, managed and hosted device services. The SCC platform design also included access for all users to critical business applications provided by other Mitie partners, who were part of the overall delivery team within this project. SCC were engaged with those organisations to deliver a successful design and implementation plan for access to those case management and management rostering applications.
“This was a complex set of secure logistics toolsets, entirely integrated to enable us to start fulfilling our obligations to the Home Office”, stated Steve Morley, Business Development Director for Mitie Care & Custody, “We have to manage, track and log, the movements of 1,300 detainees a day, ensuring that security and welfare is of paramount importance. With that many movements, robust operational integrity of our IT infrastructure is key, without it we simply cannot operate and that is not acceptable. We need to know, without ambiguity the location and needs of all of those in our care at all times, as we are essentially a people business”
The selected cornerstone of the solution was SCC’s Sentinel platform: a secure public sector cloud service. Sentinel, which was originally the first Pan-Government Accredited public sector cloud platform (August 2012), operates to an OFFICIAL/OFFICIAL Sensitive (as was IL2/IlL3) security standard. The platform was also built and continues to conform to the Government’s 14 core NCSC cloud security principles.
“Having a partner that could provide a government approved and accredited cloud service was essential to us. With the short timeframe available to mobilise this Home Office contract it would have been almost impossible to develop the required capabilities to this standard of security from scratch”, said Iain Hepburn.
The entire Sentinel platform, inclusive of hardware, software and network, is government approved as a multi-tenanted environment, with current PSN and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation. This is underpinned by our business process adherence to quality, security and design principles inherent within ISO 9000, 27001, 20000 and 22301 standards. This enables outsourcing companies, who are servicing government contracts, to ‘buy in’ to a pre-approved NCSC principled, secure cloud platform, without the complexity of doing it all themselves.
“We came to SCC because we did not want to have multiple solutions, from differing providers. We needed a trusted pair of hands that could provide solutions across the entire range of our IT needs”
Iain Hepburn, IS Mobilisation Lead, Mitie Care & Custody
“We came to SCC because we did not want to have multiple solutions, from differing providers. We needed a trusted pair of hands that could provide solutions across the entire range of our IT needs” Iain continues “The depth and breadth of the SCC solutions available, from connectivity to cloud, and their overall capability meant we had one provider to go to for everything. This reduces our complexity, reduces operational risk and maintains the highest level of service possible for our customer”
Mitie Care & Custody became fully operational on the Home Office contract on 1st May 2018 underpinned by an IT infrastructure from SCC. The approximate 1200Care & Custody professionals were all empowered to be able to undertake their duties, logging cases and ensuring the welfare of those in the care, from the go live date of the contract.
Reinforcing the importance of IT within business operations Steve Morley stated, “It is the touch point at every stage of a detainee transfer. It has to work. It has to perform and the solution from SCC does just that”.
Like all businesses Mitie are looking to their future use and demands of IT. They have a desire to use IT to innovate and gain further insight and understanding of their complex business challenges.
Colin Dobell explains “The way that we want to grow our business is with central government. There are lots of significant opportunities there and what we need is a partner that is recognised by government, understands the requirements of government and is able to provide that reassurance. Understanding the way that government reacts, the way it behaves, its requirements, are vital and SCC provide that. They are known to government and they make it easy for us in lots of ways.”
“Ultimately we would like to get to a point with our IT that we consume ‘everything as a service, and I have every confidence that as both we and SCC develop together that we will reach that objective”
Steve Morley, Business Development Director, Mitie Care & Custody
“Of course AI is going to be of great interest to us”, adds Iain Hepburn, “But we see it as part of a wider deep data analytics programme. We want to see where we can continually improve our service from an efficiency and also a care point of view. The vast quantities of data we are generating has great value to our future business. With SCC now being our trusted IT partner and strategic advisor on such topics, then we have every confidence that over the lifetime of this Home Office contract that we will unlock that value”
“Ultimately we would like to get to a point with our IT that we consume ‘everything as a service’,” says Steve Morley, “And I have every confidence that as both we and SCC develop together that we will reach that objective”
“As Mitie Care & Custody grow, we think it’s really important to work with SCC. We’ve got a good platform on which to develop and to build upon to give our clients an effective service.” Adds Paul Morrison.
SCC continues to service and support the IT needs of Mitie Care & Custody, enabling them to service the Home Office contract needs, to a high level of security, governance and compliance. SCC will also be working with Mitie Care and Custody on future developments and hopefully, new contracts and jointly achieving future strategic objectives. The Government’s view of IT delivery and the surrounding security requirements is constantly evolving. SCC believe they have their finger on that pulse; with a strong understanding of the ongoing security and platform requirements, demanded by Government and the wider public sector.
Steve Morley concludes “We wish to remain the leading provider of care and custody services within the UK and we know with SCC we can do that.”