Feeds

New company to lead UK police ICT procurement

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.