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ESMCP – Chief Fire Officers asked for comment on strategic objectives and ‘direction of travel’

14 January, 2014

Latest issue of Department for Communities and Local Government’ Monthly Bulletin provides indications of the progress of the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme*.

According to the Fire and Rescue Monthly Bulletin (41, 14 January 2014), which is distributed to fire and rescue authorities, the Outline Business Case has now been produced and both the Programme and DCLG are seeking assurance with key external partners in the three primary emergency services to feed into Departmental sign-off.

Fire Chief Officers received requests in mid December to review a business case briefing and slide pack.

The information was also sent to ‘provide reassurance with regards to the strategic objections and direction of travel’ of the ESMCP. Feedback is sought prior to late January.

Outline business case

According to the Bulletin, this is primarily to provide high level justification for continuation of ESMCP and for central government to give authority for the programme to proceed to invitation to tender.

Agreeing with the business case does not commit any fire and rescue authority to any funding or investment obligations but instead is designed to provide stakeholders (CFOA, DCLG, and ESMCP board) with ‘confidence that the programme is on track to deliver critical mobile communications services for the future.’

Assurance process

Chief Fire Officers have been asked to give particular consideration to the following:

• Requirements

• Transition plan and timetable

• Overall programme timetable, and

• Direction of travel for the programme.

Two aspects are discussed around funding:

  1. Ballpark figures to demonstrate that a sound business case exists for the approach proposed (i.e. to provide communications infrastructure for the three emergency services) – but this aspect does not commit services.
  2. A commitment (and this one ‘will cast funding in stone’) by DCLG to ‘fund the fire and rescue authority share for the next stage of the Programme and its move towards the market.’

For more information

Dave Towler, Chief Fire Officers’ Association, Emergency Services Mobile Communication Programme, Business Change and Assurance Manager,

or Matt Kershaw, Department for Communities and Local Government policy lead,

* The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme has been established to meet the future requirements for mobile voice and data communications for the emergency services.

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