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Home Affairs committee report New Landscape of Policing endorses Intellect suggestions to improve police IT

London. September 23, 2011: Intellect, the trade body for the technology industry in the UK, has today welcomed the Home Affairs Committee report, New Landscape of Policing, which has adopted several suggestions made by Intellect in evidence to the committee.

The report recommends the creation of a single national register of approved suppliers for police IT and has urged the newly created Police IT body to reduce procurement timescales as a high priority. Both issues raised by Intellect.

Terry Skinner, chair of Intellect’s Criminal Justice and Emergency Services group told the committee that because of bad procurement processes police forces were overspending on IT by at least 20 per cent and that procurement times in the UK were almost double those in Germany and Italy.

Today he said: -We are pleased to see that the committee has picked up on many of the key issues we raised and is pressing for urgent action to be taken on them. By tackling these issues we can ensure that IT procurement across all police forces is dramatically improved and costs reduced.”

Intellect’s criticisms of police IT in its evidence has struck a chord, but Intellect feels the report should have been more explicit in its explanation of the situation the police forces find themselves in. Skinner did this in his oral evidence saying, -instead of engaging with the ICT industry to explain a problem and the outcomes they want to address, the public sector procures bit-part technology that may not deliver the desired objective.”

The report also urges the new IT body to consider at an early stage what processes should be involved before awarding a major new contract is the best way of meeting the business aim.

Francis West, Intellect’s programme manager said: -The committee’s recommendation to introduce a single national register of approved suppliers is a common sense move that would save suppliers and police time and money. When an SME conducts business with one police force it is beyond understanding that they then have to go through the same amount of paperwork 42 times with the other forces.”

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