Come July the Queensland Police Service (QPS) will have a new chief of ICT, as the biggest review and restructure of the agency since the Fitzgerald Inquiry takes effect.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey announced last week that Bob Gee will take up the post of Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Information Technology Division (ITD), replacing Assistant Commissioner Paul Stewart who will find himself moved across to a brand new Community Contact Command.
The move sees Gee promoted into the executive ranks of the QPS for the first time. He is currently Chief Superintendent of the State Traffic Support Branch, and served as Inspector for the Metropolitan North Region before progressing to Superintendent at the Ethical Standards Command. He began his career with the QPS as an officer in Rockhampton in 1987.
Alongside Assistant Commissioner Steve Gollschewski, Gee authored a comprehensive review of QPS operations that has shaped the restructure plans. The new structure will take effect on 1 July 2013 and will see a layer of management removed and the creation of five new commands in parallel with the removal of several other units. The restructure addresses the QPS’s obligation to abolish 332 positions under the Government’s Public Service Renewal Program.
Gee’s IT Division, however, is one of the few sections of the QPS that will remain untouched for the time being. With the whole-of-government ICT Audit still unreleased, a summary of the reforms (PDF) explains that the QPS does not want make any changes prematurely.
“No significant change has been made to ITD as the outcome of the review is likely to have an impact. As a result further reform is expected to occur,” it says.
The ITD will, however, become a ‘central function’ of the QPS under the restructure, meaning that ICT staff will remain stationed with various area commands and specialist units but will be managed according to a strategic direction and performance indicators set centrally by ITD leadership.
From the helm of the ITD, Gee will also oversee the development and roll-out of the QPS Mobile Data Strategy, a central plank of the modern policing vision that he and Gollschewski outlined in their review.
Development of the strategy is already underway, and it will target that holy grail of police efficiency – freeing up frontline officers from desk duties to focus on operations in the field.
“Queensland lags behind many other jurisdictions in terms of mobile data,” the restructure summary says. “There are significant productivity, officer safety and crime prevention/detection improvements that can be realised with appropriate technology support to frontline officers”.
It is estimated that between 15 and 20 per cent of police time is spent on administrative tasks and reporting.
ICT will also form a key focus of an upcoming Infrastructure Strategy which is likely to weigh up the benefits of selling off some QPS assets and overhauling payroll systems.
For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.