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Met Police new HR technology broken, bloated, absent

Fell down the stairs, presumably

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An attempted programme to modernise the Metropolitan Police's human resources systems is behind schedule and over-budget.

The force was originally going to spend £38m to create a self-service HR system which it hoped would save it £15m a year in costs. The system was meant to go live in December 2009 - but it is now hoped it will be ready in the second half of this year, and an extra £10m has been added to the budget.

The row with French supplier Steria got so bad that the Met sought legal advice, the Times reports. Steria has yet to respond to our email queries.

A source told the paper: “Lawyers have been consulted but the cost of litigation would be greater than the cost of trying to fix it.”

The force employs 55,000 people and is under political pressure to control costs and reduce officers' time spent shuffling paper, as well as cutting civilian headcount.

Home Secretary Theresa May visits the Police Federation this week. The Met's HR director Martin Tiplady, who earns an estimated £175,000, will be hoping the system offers the savings he has previously promised. Tiplady has been in post since 2001 after a long career in local government.

Sounding like someone had swallowed the management consultants' whole dictionary, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said [verbatim]: "A major change programme originally with a go-live date forecast for December 2009 but the technology was not fully developed. The programme is on track with a revised go-live plan forecast for the second half of 2010.

"The project plan has been fully discussed and agreed with all parties including the Metropolitan Police Authority. A revised budget was agreed in 2009. The total programme is £48m delivering £15m in annual savings from next year."

In other news, independent charity CrimeStoppers has launched a website to help track down London's "Most-Wanted" suspects. The site includes pictures, descriptions and information on alleged offences. At the time of writing it seems to be mostly unavailable. ®

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