The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has initiated the first step in a planned refinement of its mobile platforms and their management.
QPS has invited Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the provision of a mobility managed service which it expects to then progress to a definitive Invitation to Offer (ITO).
A Police and Community Safety Review in August 2013 found that QPS’s ICT enablement had fallen far behind other jurisdictions. It currently operates with an analogue Push to Talk (PTT) radio network as the primary form of communication between Police Communication Centres (PCC) and operational policing units.
The purpose of the EOI is to establish whether QPS’s current technology can service current and future business needs and also to confirm the ability of the market to provide a suitable mobile solution.
A compliant response to the EOI is a pre-requisite for responding to any subsequent ITO. Respondents to the EOI are to provide responses covering the technology, management and support of a comprehensive state-wide solution. The requirements include:
- The deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots;
- The provision of mobile devices;
- The development of backend architecture and systems to support the solution;
- The design and deployment of security controls and systems; and
- The provision of Data Carriage and Voice Services.
According to the EOI documents, “many officers are utilising personal communication devices, personal GPS mapping and other digital devices, to improve their operational effectiveness in the field”, as a result of congested radio communications.
The agency is currently piloting approximately 500 Apple iOS devices. The pilot is part of the overarching plan to develop a solution that will “facilitate the secure capture, delivery, receipt and management of QPS resources, assets, operational information and intelligence, regardless of geographical location”.
QPS has indicated that there is a need for 1200 additional mobile devices and that while current devices are Apple iOS specific, it intends to review this position.
QPS’ 2012-13 Annual Report earmarked a mobile data strategy as a future initiative which will “focus on leveraging mobile technologies and mobile information to improve QPS’ productivity, officer safety and crime prevention and detection”. The strategy is yet to be made public. However, tender documents indicate that the Commissioner of the QPS “has set a clear strategy…to deliver a mobile workforce”.
The plan for a mobility managed service aligns with an action in Queensland’s 2013-17 ICT Strategy which states that agencies should develop plans that facilitate a “move from owning assets to an ICT-as-a-service environment”.
New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria are also moving towards improved frontline mobile technology. In September 2013, NSW Police conducted a four month trial of a mobile app for officers to issue digital traffic infringements. The app named ‘mobile notices’ was issued on a fleet of iPad minis across the agency with the data hosted by relative newcomer to the Australian cloud market, Amazon Web Services. The infringement data was either directly sent to a phone via MMS or through to the State Debt Recovery Office to be sent to the offender by mail.
WA Police trialled mobile devices at one Police Station (Hilary) from July to September 2012 and have committed to c further examination of the technology in 2013-14.
Victoria Police is currently implementing its Policing Information Process and Practice (PIPP) Reform Program which aims to ensure that information can be accessed anywhere and at any time. $5.2 million has been allocated to the project in the 2013-14 Victorian Budget.
Submissions for the QPS EOI close on 27 January 2014. There is no indication of when QPS will issue a subsequent ITO.
For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.