The Northern Ireland Court Service has awarded a £27m contract to ebusiness service company ICL to design, implement and manage a secure IT desktop infrastructure.

The move will enable communication between all 650 Court Service staff, members of the judiciary across 28 sites in Northern Ireland and will give public access to information through a new internet website.

ICL will also design and implement software to support improvements in the administration of the criminal, civil and family justice processes in Magistrates', County and High Courts.

The software will also help communication with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

A help desk will provide support to the new IT system.