Labour awards first outsourcing contract

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Sema, the high-flying Anglo-French information technology company, has won the UK's first public sector outsourcing contract awarded under the Labour Government. Sema, whose shares have more than doubled over the past year, will run all the non-operational IT businesses for the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) subsidiary of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The contract, which runs initially for four years, is believed to be worth pounds 20m and is extendable for up to 10 years. Sema, which won against stiff competition, will operate everything except air traffic control and security for Nats, including all the administration and IT at 18 UK airports.