The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Command and Control Mobilising System (CCMS)
The Way Forward
57. The SFRS management acknowledges the pressing requirement of sourcing, implementing and establishing suitable CCMS to replace current systems and apply the resources and focus to make this happen.
58. To accommodate network and telephony technological changes, replacement CCMS system(s) should be in place by summer 2025. This is to allow a period of settling prior to the ISDN and ESN network changes towards the end of 2025.
59. Having terminated the Systel contract, the SFRS is undertaking procurement afresh of a new CCMS system. The first stage of this is the appointment of a Client Advisor and this element is anticipated to be in place by February 2023.
60. The system procurement process itself is expected to take around nine months. The Service considered different procurement route options and has opted for what it believes to be the most appropriate in light of the prevailing issues of desired timescale and risk of challenge. There is also the potential to use supplier pre-qualification within an existing Emergency Services command and control systems framework, to accelerate the procurement process.
61. The Service may source and implement ‘off the shelf’ replacement systems to improve stability and meet deadlines in the short term. This seems an obvious strategy given that the original desire to create a bespoke system may in part have had an influence on the supplier’s ability to deliver. Systems may be introduced as stand-alone without interoperability between OCs. This may be viewed by some to discount one of the original drivers of improved resilience and efficiency by enabling interoperability between OCs. The long term solution may still be the provision of a single CCMS spanning across the three OCs achieved by the procurement and implementation of three separate CCMS systems to be provided by the same supplier and set up with the same configuration which may allow future interoperability.
62. We spoke to a selection of staff with knowledge of the operational and technical requirements. They are confident that the target of establishing replacement systems by 2025 is achievable, though there are challenges involved. However, they also highlighted the importance of getting things right in terms of procurement, appointing of a competent supplier and maintaining focus by prioritising implementation.
63. There are thought to be a number of blue light services in the UK commencing procurement for CCMS at a similar time to the SFRS, and there may therefore be challenges in terms of supplier capacity to deliver.
64. There has been significant turnover of personnel over the period of the Systel project. As an example, there have been five different Senior Responsible Officers and seven project managers. We think it important that the Service puts in place suitable project team members to drive the project forward and maintain focus.