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SCOTLAND'S public prosecuting authority - the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service - has awarded a £1m contract to international IT group Bull Information Systems to overhaul its hardware.
Bull fought off competition from computer giant IBM, the existing Crown Office supplier, to secure the contract to provide replacement Unix systems.
The five-year deal will also provide Scotland's prosecuting offices with hardware maintenance and system support to help them cope with their growing use of IT.
Bull began installing four of the systems immediately, with another 45 systems due to be installed next year.
The company already provides IT systems for the Scottish Criminal Record Office, Strathclyde Police, Grampian Police and Fife Constabulary.
A Bull spokesman said it was selected due to the "cost-effectiveness" of its bid.
Crown Office head of information services Bob Donaldson said: "We chose to work with Bull because of the quality of the technological solution it provides, and because the contract represented best value for money. Another factor is that Bull is already well established in the Scottish criminal market."