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CFOA response to House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts FiReControl Update Report 23 July 2013

25 July, 2013

CFOA provides 'additional clarification' - and says accusation that FRAs lack procurement skills is 'unjustified'.

The following is the statement released by CFOA:

'Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs), aided by the Local Government Association (LGA), have for many years successfully procured both Mobilising and Command & Control systems. In fact, it was only during the time of the Governments FiReControl project that FRAs did not conduct any such procurement exercises.

'CFOA considers the Public Account Committee’s view that there is a lack of procurement skills within FRAs has not been evidenced in any way and is somewhat unjustified.

'Of the 22 Improvement projects underway, 14 have undertaken the process of procuring new mobilising systems and of those 12 have now signed contracts. 1 project is in the process of issuing their Invitation to Tender (ITT) and the remaining project is currently evaluating bids. This figure includes two projects underway prior to the issuing of DCLG funding.

'The remaining projects are either upgrading or enhancing their current mobilising systems. 4 projects have completed this upgrade process with the remainder scheduled to complete by the end of 2013.'

National resilience

'It should be noted that development of a national solution was not one of the required components within the Business Case’s requested for from FRAs by DCLG.

'Both CFOA and the LGA were very clear from the outset of this process that a series of individual projects would not provide a nationally networked solution.

'However many projects, since forming their local partnership arrangements, have sought further resilience in the form of fall-back buddy arrangements. This is where one Control will answer calls and mobilise resources for another in the event of a technical problem or if a Control becomes over-run by call numbers.  8 Projects are self sufficient, providing suitable and sufficient fall-back arrangements within their own partnership arrangements. The remaining projects are currently exploring potential partners, 5 of which have already identified their ‘fall-back’ buddies.'

Project support

'CFOA have undertaken to provide support to all 22 projects. They have undertaken over 70 visits across all projects since September 2012.  The Control Projects Knowledge Exchange, a web-based support platform, now has over 100 subscribers facilitating the exchange of information between projects.

'The CFOA team have also arranged 13 countrywide seminars on a variety of topics including:

  • Public Services Network
  • Common data types
  • LGA supported Airwave event
  • Codes of Connection
  • Emergency call Management
  • National Incident Type list'
You can read a summary of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee's recommendations here.

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