Feeds

New company to lead UK police ICT procurement

Top cops in charge of IT pros - bound to work well

Boost IT visibility and business value

A police ICT company, led by police chiefs and staffed by technology professionals, will be set up in spring 2012 to manage some of the £1.2bn the service currently spends on ICT each year, home secretary Theresa May has announced.

In a speech to the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), May said the police must have a controlling interest in the new company. "Police need to be at the heart of defining what systems and services they need," she said.

Gordon Wasserman, currently the government's adviser on policing and criminal justice, will lead the work of setting up the new company.

He will chair an interim board on which Ailsa Beaton, the chief information officer of the Metropolitan Police and the Acpo lead on IT, will serve as the senior police IT professional.

May said she expects the Home Office, and possibly the private sector, to own shares in the company alongside police forces.

The company will be responsible for negotiating and managing contracts worth many billions of pounds and this "must be done by hard-headed professionals who can take on some of the world's biggest companies on their own terms", May said.

She said the company must have a culture that enables it to attract and retain skilled staff, and a commercial and efficient approach to save public money. In addition, it should exploit the purchasing power of all of England's 43 police forces.

"The way we do things now is confused, fragmented and expensive," according to May. She said that one supplier has more than 1,500 contracts across all forces, and there are 5,000 staff working on some 2,000 ICT systems across 100 data centres.

"I don't want this to be Pito (Police Information Technology Organisation) mark two or NPIA (National Policing Improvement Agency) mark two, with all the same old mistakes and the same old problems repeated," May said. "I want this time to be different."

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.