Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the background to NI Public Sector Shared Network (PSSN) contract?

Within the Public Sector in Northern Ireland each Policy and Delivery Organisation had a range of network services, Wide Area Networks (WANs), Local Area Networks (LANs) and associated services which were often under a number of different contractual arrangements. Under the stated objective of the NI Executive to drive towards shared services, key stakeholders in the public sector came together to consider the options for future provision of network services. IT Assist, Education Authority, Business Services Organisation and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) resourced a joint procurement team with assistance from the Construction and Procurement Delivery (CPD) and Strategic Investment Board (SIB).

This is known as a Collaborative arrangement.

2. Who can use the NI PSSN contract?

NI PSSN was set up to allow additional users to avail of the full scope of services as an objective under the Shared Services Mandate.

Users identified via the links below may opt to use this Agreement via the Change Control Procedure:

3. What can be purchased under the NI PSSN contract?

A wide range of Telecommunications services are covered under the contract and the Department of Finance (DoF) contract team will provide advice and guidance to determine if your particular project could be provided under the contract.

32510000-Wireless telecommunications system
32412100-Telecommunications network
64200000-Telecommunications services
32522000-Telecommunications equipment
32523000-Telecommunications facilities
32524000-Telecommunications system
45314000-Installation of telecommunications equipment
50300000-Repair, maintenance and associated services related to personal computers, office equipment, telecommunications and audio-visual equipment
50330000-Maintenance services of telecommunications equipment
50332000-Telecommunications-infrastructure maintenance services
72315000-Data network management and support services

4. What type of services are typically provided under NI PSSN?

Service Area


Wide Area Network

Customer specific WAN services using any combination of MPLS, SD-WAN, Ethernet, Internet, Mobile Data etc from a range of Communications Providers

Local Area Network

Vendor Agnostic LAN and Software Defined Access services

Mobile Data / Services

3G, 4G and road-mapped 5G data services to support WAN and mobility solutions

Network Infrastructure

Network Infrastructure such as Wireless Controllers and Access Points, WIFI, Load Balancers, Network access Control

Managed Services

Range of service options from wires-only and break/fix to fully managed service delivered from the Belfast secure iNOC

Unified Communications

Unified Communications, Contact Centre and Collaboration solutions from a range of vendors both on-premise and cloud provided

Security Services

Specialist security services including firewalls, SIEM, Secure Remote Access, IPS/IDS delivered from 24x7 Security Operations Centre

Professional Services

Design, implementation and support for network infrastructure and associated services

Specialist consultancy

Consultancy for network and associated infrastructure projects including Strategy development

5. What are the contract timescales?

NI PSSN is effective from 25 October 2018 – orders could be placed and billed from this date. The initial contract period of 7 years starts from 1 October 2019 up until 30 September 2026.

NI PSSN has a further 2 year extension period which, if implemented, will take the contract up until 30 September 2028.

6. How is the contract governed?

NI PSSN will continue to be run as a collaborative arrangement, and governance is at both a specific User and at a Department of Finance level.

The Governance arrangements are in place to achieve the following:

  • Ensure the Supplier meets implementation and delivery milestones
  • Ensure the Supplier provides quality of service against the Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Provide financial control of project spend and achievement of savings against appropriate Business Cases
  • Ensure any new services and new Users are on-boarded without impact to performance/timescales of existing Users
7. What is the contract based on?

The contract is based on the Cabinet Office Model Service Contract and let via an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) Competitive Dialogue process with a combined procurement team from CPD and Users.

8. How are new services or change approved?

All new opportunities must be channelled through the DoF Contract team.

  • User (budget holder) is encouraged to produce output-based requirements to allow BT to seek the best solution from the Market.
  • A quote should be requested from the DoF Contract Team using the Request for Quote form.
  • If the User is content to proceed with the quote provided, then the Request for Change form is submitted to the DoF Contract Team along with the quote.
  • BT will provide a Change Authorisation note which will require signature from the User, the DoF Contract Team and BT.
  • This Change Authorisation Note confirms that the User is providing (Purchase Order) PO cover and accepts that proposed solution meets service/Value For Money requirements.
  • DoF contract team formally approve use of contract for this opportunity on Contract change form.
9. How does billing work?

All Users will be responsible to settle appropriate invoices relevant to their organisations. The specific billing arrangements will be made clear on the Contract Change form.

Generally Users have raised PO’s to cover either individual purchases or recurring monthly charges.

  • Invoices will be directly to the User organisation raising the PO
  • For IT Assist customers, invoices will be raised to IT Assist and onward charged as per existing arrangements
  • Users on Account NI will be invoiced through this mechanism
  • Users not on Account NI will be invoiced directly to their billing address
  • Any billing queries will be dealt with via the Contract Management team
  • DoF Contract team will receive copies of all invoices for contract reconciliation

The principle is that the people who order, know what they have ordered and the costs, and therefore are best placed to be accountable and authorise the payment of the invoice via the appropriate finance channel.

10. Who can help me with other questions?

In the first instance drop an email to or submit your query via the website here