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Contracts awarded for National Entitlement Card Scheme operations
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Dundee City Council has awarded two contracts for the supply of a Customer Management System and Card & Bureau services for the National Entitlement Card Scheme covering the whole of Scotland.

The award of tenders secures the operation of the system and services from November 2021 for a period of four years, with the option to extend the contracts by up to another two years at one-year intervals.

The contracts were awarded through the not-for-profit Smart Applications Management (SAM) Framework and the tendering process was scrutinised and approved by the council’s Policy and Resources Committee on Monday 4th March 2021.

The National Entitlement Card Scheme’s Customer Management System will be supplied by SmartCitizen Ltd, while the contract for Card and Bureau Services was awarded to Euclid Ltd.

Dundee City Council’s Finance Spokesperson Councillor Willie Sawers, said: “It’s great that the contracts have been awarded and the acquisition of high-quality services will allow the National Entitlement Card Programme Office within Dundee City Council to continue to provide a valuable service to over two million cardholders, particularly for those aged 60+ accessing concessionary travel across Scotland.

“The scheme and this tendering process is a fantastic example of local and national partners working together. The council makes extensive use of card and its associated infrastructure locally as this one card gives access to many services that helps further implement our digital strategy.”

Martin Brown, Head of Digital Public Services, The Improvement Service said: “As Europe’s single, largest multi-application smartcard scheme, the National Entitlement Card (NEC) Scheme provides access to vital public services day in, day out across Scotland from education to libraries, leisure to transport. For Scotland’s young people, their Young Scot NEC also offers access to rewards, discounts, unique opportunities and bespoke support. The new contracts are a vital part of the plans for maintaining continuity of service and for accommodating a significant expansion of the NEC Scheme, especially in public transport.

“As the accountable body for the NEC Scheme, the Improvement Service welcomes the award of these contracts. It was made possible through effective collaboration between organisations with responsibility to deliver or having a dependency on the NEC, with the support of our valued delivery partner, Dundee City Council.”

Kirsten Urquhart, Chief Executive (Interim) of Young Scotsaid: “The Young Scot National Entitlement Card is at the heart of our work to give young people access to a wide range of free entitlements, opportunities and services – all accessed in a non-stigmatising way. We welcome the award of these contracts and look forward to working in partnership and exploring new ways to use the Card to support young people to fulfil their potential.”

As Europe’s single, largest multi-application smartcard scheme, the National Entitlement Card (NEC) Scheme provides access to vital public services day in, day out across Scotland from education to libraries, leisure to transport... The new contracts are a vital part of the plans for maintaining continuity of service and for accommodating a significant expansion of the NEC Scheme, especially in public transport.

– Martin Brown, Head of Digital Public Services. Improvement Service

Simon Bennetts, Managing Director of SmartCitizen said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to provide the back office solutions for the Scottish National Entitlement Card and we look forward to supporting the 32 Scottish Councils and to helping them all to continue to develop and improve their scheme with our portfolio of products and services.

“SmartConnect, which was Designed by Local Authorities, for Local Authorities, is at the heart of the solutions we offer to all UK local authorities, provides a comprehensive 'one size, fits all' solution to all token based membership schemes used in local government.

“From single use to multi-application, concessionary or commercial, from cards, badges, tickets and wrist bands through to mobile phones, SmartConnect will manage them all."

Geoff Neal, Managing Director of Euclid Ltd said: “Euclid is delighted to have been awarded this prestigious scheme by Dundee City Council, involving the provision of smartcards and allied bureau services, including the Scottish National Entitlement and the Young Scot cards.

“The company will be supplying its well proven Integra® smartcards which offer a more robust construction and a faster turnaround to improve customer satisfaction.

“The greatest challenge has been to replace the existing microprocessor card technology with an updated version that would interface to both the ITSO (transport) environment and legacy systems, at the same time deliver increased security.

“The chosen chip platform was configured by NXP and Euclid, working with partners Unicard, also ITSO, Dundee City Council and Transport Scotland to ensure there will be a seamless transition when the handover from the incumbent supplier takes place in November.”

The value of the Customer Management System is estimated at £431,425, and the value of the Card Bureau Services contract is estimated at £5,983,739 based on providing business as usual in line with expansion and growth for up to 6 years.

Funding to cover this service and the new contracts has been agreed with the Improvement Service.