It has recently been revealed that the UK Health Security Agency have awarded a £2.46 million contract to the multinational digital technology company Netcompany to “develop, maintain and support” the NHS COVID-19 App. (I.E the contact tracing app rather than the NHS App).
While the contract does not give extensive details on the how the COVID-19 Contract Tracing app will be developed the contract page says they want Netcompany to “work collaboratively with internal UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) teams to deliver a range of Mobile APP development services and support the existing systems AWS Infrastructure.”.
An attachment says that a team of around 20 developers, system testers and engineers will be required. The contract was awarded 15 February 2022, will expire 31 December 2022, and it has the option to be extended for a further three months.
Netcompany UK have been awarded many contracts by the UK government for digital services for number of government departments including the DHSC, one of these contracts being a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for Covid-19 Certification / Passport App was in November 2020.
Netcompany were also awarded a contract by the Scottish government to develop their own COVID status certification app in Summer 2021.
Although it is not clear how Netcompany will develop the NHS COVID-19 App, or if it will be used at all, on 21 February 2022 the government misled the public when they said that we were moving “even closer to normality” a week after signing this contract.
Instead, it seems that their plan for us to “learn to live with Covid” may well include contact tracing apps or similar health related technology to remain permanent.