A new company has been set up to help police forces to improve their information technology and get better value for money from contracts.
The police ICT company Ltd. is currently jointly owned by the association of police authorities and the home office but will be handed over to police and crime commissioners following elections in November.
The company has been created to get better value for money for forces by offering access to better services and deals.
Nick Herbert, minister for policing and criminal justice, said:
‘While some police IT is good, such as the new police national database, much of it is not. There are 2,000 systems between the 43 forces of England and Wales, and individual forces have not always driven the most effective deals.
‘We need a new, more collaborative approach and greater accountability, utilising expertise in IT procurement and freeing police officers to focus on fighting crime.
‘By harnessing the purchasing power of police forces, the new company will be able to drive down costs, save taxpayers’ money, and help to improve police and potentially wider criminal justice IT systems in future.’
Cllr Mark Burns-Williamson, Chairman of the Association of Police Authorities,(APA) said:
‘Better use of technology is vital when fighting criminal networks that have a sophisticated national and international reach.
‘The APA will work closely with the home office to ensure proper scrutiny of the new company so that the taxpayer gets value for money.
‘When the new system is handed over to police and crime commissioners we want it to be fit for purpose and efficient in delivering IT tasks.’
The new company will be responsible for providing strategic ICT advice and guidance to forces and the procurement, implementation and management of ICT solutions for forces.
Its aim is to free chief officers from in-depth involvement in ICT management and enable greater innovation so officers have access to new technology to save time and ensure better value for the taxpayer.
Police forces will be key to determining how the new company operates and what services it provides.
A college of policing is also being set up to strip away burdensome bureaucracy and improve policing standards. The independent body will protect the public interest by enhancing police standards identifying evidence of what works in policing and sharing best practice among officers.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The police ICT company Ltd. has now been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee, under the joint ownership of the association of police authorities and the home office. This is an interim arrangement until PCCs are elected and can take the company forward. This arrangement will ensure that its board of directors can begin to shape and develop the company further so that it is in a viable form for PCCs to take over.
- The company will help police forces get better value for money for their ICT spend by driving down costs and driving up value. The police service currently spends £106 million each year with one telecommunications provider. The company could help its customers consolidate large scale payments of this kind. Across forces, there are also more than 300 separate software licenses with a single software supplier. The company could help to consolidate and provide better deals for forces.
- In due course the company will inherit some of the existing national services and support functions from the national policing improvement agency (NPIA) including ICT strategy, ICT contract management, procurement and service management and the management and implementation of ICT projects and programmes.