61/2023 – PCC Guarantee to BLC for IT contracts

Author and Job Role Kelvin Menon – CFO OPCC Surrey 

Protective Marking:  Official 

PCCs have been asked to provide a £5m guarantee, split by Net Budget Requirement, to Blue Light Commercial (BLC) following the novation of a number of IT contracts to them from the Police Digital Service (PDS). This is required to ensure that Blue Light can call on funds to pay suppliers should they not have adequate cashflow available. It mirrors the same arrangement given to PDS. 

The Home Office has instructed BLC to assume responsibility for the commercial elements of ICT requirements for UK policing. The novation of the contracts for Oracle, Adobe, IBM and VM Ware should ensure that the Contracts are able to continue to deliver IT Goods and Services at scale, securing savings for Commissioners and deliver services for national programmes on behalf of policing.  

As per the PDS Letter of Intent signed by Commissioners, the Letter of Intent to be entered into by Commissioners for the benefit of BLC will cover the same scope and triggers for invoking the guarantee provided and provides that the funds will only be required in the unlikely event that:  

  1. Police force subscribers to contracts negotiated and entered into by the Company on behalf of police forces fail to settle invoices from the Company within payment terms, and  
  1. The Company has insufficient reserves to cover suppliers’ invoices, and  
  1. As a result, the Company is unable to meet its financial obligations.  

As before, the commitment that is being asked of each Commissioner is based on a collective guarantee of £5m with each Commissioner guarantee being based on their Net Revenue budget. The guarantee will only be called upon in the unlikely event that Forces fail to pay their invoices within the payment terms set out.   

The amount of the guarantee for Surrey is £95,024.64 and will be funded from reserves if called upon.


It is recommended that the PCC signs the attached Letter of Intent

I approve the recommendation(s): 

Signature: Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend (wet signed copy held at PCC office)

Date: 05 March 2024

All decisions must be added to the decision register. 


The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has consulted with PCCs on this guarantee. 

Financial implications 

The maximum amount that could be paid is £95,024.64. This is covered by reserves  




There is a low risk that the guarantee could be called in but the liability is capped at £95,024.64. In the even that the guarantee is required steps would be taken by BLC to recover the funds from the defaulting OPCC in order to reimburse guarantors 

Equality and diversity 


Risks to human rights