The Times has a report about yet Another Home Office and Police Computer Project Disaster
How can these people be trusted with even larger and more complicated IT systems like the National Identity Register ?.
The Times April 18, 2006
Police stay mired in paper war
By Richard Ford, Home Correspondent.
A £228m computer system should free more bobbies for the beat, but funding has been blocked
A MULTIMILLION-POUND project to cut police paperwork and free officers for fighting crime is threatened with collapse because the Treasury is refusing to fund its full development.
The Treasury’s failure to hand over resources for the full introduction of the
£228 million computer system in police stations has resulted in no equipment being bought or ordered for the past three months.
Des Browne, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, refused to provide further funds for the custody and case preparation project because he was unconvinced of the benefits to taxpayers.
Things must be really bad with this project, if even Des Browne, who, as the ex-Home Office Minister in charge of the Identity Cards scheme, has a record of being easily bamboozled by the the IT technology hype, has decided that this IT project is a waste of public money.
A document seen by The Times says: “HM Treasury recently declined to release funding to criminal justice information technology for the Police Information Technology Organisation to complete implementation of the custody and case preparation programme. As a result, procurement activity in support of the programme ceased during February and the programme is now at some risk.”
The letter, written by John Burbeck, the Chief Constable of Warwickshire, said that the original business case for the programme had been based on potential rather than actual benefits. “The Chief Secretary now requires the reporting of actual benefits and for them to be included in police efficiency plans. It is clear that a failure to meet this requirement will result in an absence of funds,” it added.
If 20 out of 43 Police forces do have this system installed, shouldn't there be some measurable, tangible benefit by now ?
Where is the fabled Office for Government Commerce Gateway Review of this project ?
Why has this process not flagged up the project failure earlier ?
Why has the public not been informed sooner ?
Although it was hoped to have the system in operation by 2004-05, the Police Information Technology Organisation admitted in that period that it had failed to meet a target of having the system in operational use in 20 forces.
The latest target for the system to be fully operational is March 2007 — ten years after the first contract was signed.
What is so difficult about getting the Courts and the Police sharing the same information with each other ?
Which comopanies are making a profit from this ongoing scheme ?