27th September 2018
If ever there was a need for a major inquiry, it is into the debacle known as Victoria Police Information Technology, the compelling identification of failures in today’s Herald Sun 27/9/18 demand no less of a response.
Delving deeper into this issue it seems we Victorians have forked out millions of dollars for no meaningful result yet. Difficult to pin down but half a billion would seem a fair estimate.
In July, Victoria Police went to market for a large tranche of IT outsourcing services, in a deal which will reportedly be worth up to $340 million and see five separate outsourcing contracts consolidated into one substantial contract representing one of the largest such deals in Australia’s public sector this year. Setting aside the IT project issue — projects which have catastrophically failed before — Victoria Police is fundamentally revolutionising its ICT delivery model as a whole right now, outsourcing most of its work.
Now that sounds like there is hope and the solution is just around the corner. but that comment was published in 2013 – 5 years ago.
And it is not as though the Government was not warned.
A report published by the State Services Authority in Victoria in March 2012 found that the (VicPol) division had no ability to deliver such projects
November 2009 a report handed down by Victoria’s Ombudsman found that the department’s IT management had a “disregard for proper procurement and contract management”
A litany of failures at management level have resulted in police members having one hand tied behind their back.
In an era where you can have an app on your phone or IPad for almost anything can the solution be so difficult.
I can lodge receipts and receive payments for health insurance using an app as I can check the weather radar or track every international flight in real time, accessing data for police should be straight forward.
It is true that problems preceded the current government but they have thrown over three hundred million at the problem with a promise to fix it including the appointment of a Deputy Police Commissioner to manage the program. Another Government exercise in throwing money at a problem hoping that will fix it, it has not and probably will not. Time to get somebody who knows what they are doing to solve it.
There should be some rolling heads over this absolute embarrassment, recouping some of the millions spent for no result that puts all Victorians at risk, not to mention our police members.