The deployment of mobile technology and an agency-wide SAP upgrade are some of the newest ICT projects on the table at the NSW Police Force, with work on the on new WebCOPS central database having drawn to a close.
The NSWPF has commissioned business plans in both of these areas and a Police spokesperson said that these are complete and “are being used to better inform decisions on future ICT investments”. Copies have also been distributed to members of the NSW Contract 2020 Panel for ICT Services.
At a cost of $236,000, The Birchman Group developed a Mobile Technology Strategic Plan for the Police, which outlines ways that the agency could provide frontline staff with access to key policing tools while working in the field.
“[The Plan] will ultimately deliver a reliable, secure, and high performing mobile technology environment that will empower Police with technology tools that make information available anytime, anywhere,” says the contract notice, published on the NSW tendering website.
The document has been offered up to the NSW Police Executive for consideration.
The initiative is aligned to the Police Force’s new ICT Strategic Plan, which was launched in August this year. While the ICT Strategy itself is not publically available, a spokesperson for the agency said that one of its primary focuses is freeing up frontline staff so they can dedicate as much time as possible to their field duties.
The recently implemented WebCOPS system, an enhanced version of the Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS), can now be accessed via the web and as a result could plausibly be accessed by officers from mobile devices while on patrol.
This would allow them to look up the names, facial images and other personal details of any individuals recorded in the COPS database, while away from a police station or computer-equipped vehicle.
Another key focus of the new ICT Strategy, according to the NSWPF, is process improvement.
In keeping with this objective, the NSWPF has commissioned a $360,000 planning study from Extend Technologies, into the feasibility of a large-scale SAP upgrade.
According to the contract notice:
“This project is a planning study with the key objective to improve the effectiveness of SAP and to allow the users of the system to derive greater benefit from the investments made by NSWPF in this major application. For this NSWPF is considering:
- Upgrading SAP from its current version to the latest available version.
- Exploring the use of all SAP modules that might improve NSWPF's functional areas including fleet, asset and real-estate management, and
- Changes to the business processes such that they can make better use of SAP.”
“The NSW Police Force innovates where it can to improve systems and processes. Environmental scanning, understanding of market developments and testing innovative ideas are all part of our ICT approach,” he said.
Earlier this year, the NSWPF commissioned an agency-wide ICT review and as a result has implemented a series of reforms to the way ICT is government at the agency, as well as launching the new strategy.
In August the agency began to advertise for a Chief Information Officer, to replace the former Director of Business Technology Services, Julie Roberts. It said that the role itself would be changed under the new CIO title, in keeping with the recommendations of the review.
The NSWPF has yet to name a successful candidate and Superintendant Christopher Clark is filling the role in the interim.
According to Intermedium’s Budget IT tool, $166 million worth of ICT allocations were listed for Police in the 2011-12 NSW Budget. Of this amount, $33 million was for new projects and $52 million was earmarked for expenditure in the current financial year.
In regards to 2011-12 expenditure, $12.3 million remains to be spent on the $46 million COPS upgrade and another $9.2 million has been allocated to the replacement of technology assets.
Another $7.2 million has been put aside for the roll out of 100 Mobile Automatic Number Plate Recognition (MANPR) units over two years.