MoD archiving goes for miles and miles…

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TNT Express Services has won its longest ever contract – a multimillion pound agreement with the Government spanning a quarter-of-a-century – to archive, store and manage 12 million files which, if placed end-to-end, would occupy more than 200km of shelf space.

The company first began talks with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1998 and has since come through six different stages of bidding to land the deal. Under the agreement all the files will be electronically indexed and transferred from the MoD’s existing installation in Hayes, Middlesex, to a new £15M purpose-built TNT archive storage and data management centre, presently under construction at Swadlincote.

Apart from the MoD records, TNT will also safeguard documents relating to a variety of other key Government departments including The Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, Parliamentary Commissioner, Public Guardianship Office, Energywatch and Metropolitan Police. The Government records will be accessed by password-protected Internet-style systems, which will ultimately help Government departments respond faster and more accurately to incoming enquiries.

An MoD spokesman says: “Under the proposed contract, TNT will provide secure storage for official paper records that would stretch from London to Birmingham if they were placed end-to-end. The files will be in housed in modern premises which will be a significant improvement on the existing site at Hayes.

“Strict security arrangements will be in place, and all records will remain Government property and will be used for official purposes only. External organisations with an interest in official records, such as those associated with ex-servicemen and women, will see no change in the service they receive.”

Bob Black, divisional managing director of TNT Express Specialist Services, says: “This is a fantastic win for TNT. It places us in a very significant position in the UK archive services market and provides us with a superb platform from which to exploit further opportunities in this sector. Our goal is to be regarded as the number one provider for quality and service in a UK market that is presently valued at something in the region of £150M per annum.”

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