Three police forces backtrack on IT outsourcing plans

IT outsourcing

Three police forces backtrack on IT outsourcing plans

Karl Flinders

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police have changed their minds and decided not to outsource services, including human resources (HR), to G4S.

The police forces ended the plan and said they would work together to find other ways to cut costs while protecting frontline police services.

Hertfordshire Police commissioner David Lloyd said the deal had not been suitable for the unique position of the forces so he would continue to look at other options for his service.

The police service, like any public sector organisation, faces budget cuts and must find more efficient ways of operating to protect front-line police services.

Shared services are an example of strategies being used. For example, Northamptonshire and Cheshire police forces have linked their back office systems, despite being miles apart, after identifying one another as being at similar points in their IT development. The partnership is known as the Multi-Force Shared Service.

In 2010, Cleveland Police Authority became the first customer of Steria's shared services offering, which is targeted at UK police forces. The authority is spending £175m over a decade on shared services and expects £50m in savings in that time.

In 2010, the Sustaining value for money in the police service report from the Audit Commission, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Wales Audit Office said a lack of ambition for back office savings within police authorities could hold back value for money.

Despite the availability of shared services platforms and cloud computing, only about 25% of chief constables surveyed believed any more savings could be made in the back office.

Image: Thinkstock



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