Police Scotland explain late running IT upgrade

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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Senior officers will be asked to explain why Police Scotland’s flagship computer upgrade is running behind schedule and potentially over budget at Holyrood today.

Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson will join Chief Superintendent Alec Hippman, programme manager for the i6 upgrade, and Police Scotland ICT director Martin Leven at Holyrood’s Justice Sub-Committee on Policing.

Chief Constable Stephen House has made the i6 upgrade his number one priority amid complaints from the committee that police “have less computer support than a washing machine repair man” with antiquated computer systems likened to “something from the Beano”.

But the project has faced “regrettable” delays and costs have soared.

The Scottish Government originally earmarked £12 million for ICT upgrades in its police reform programme, but First Minister Alex Salmond later put the cost at £46 million, while the Scottish Police Authority has put the total cost at around £60 million.

Committee convener Christine Grahame wrote to Police Scotland seeking an assurance that i6 is currently progressing within previously agreed timescales and is still on budget.

In a response ahead of his appearance today, Mr Richardson said: “The overall milestone achievement criteria have not been met.

“Differences have emerged as to what the contract required the supplier to deliver which have contributed to these delays. These are being discussed and a contractual way forward is in development and currently being negotiated.

“Robust governance of the programme has been established and includes management of the contract, milestones, supplier performance and delivery of the business requirements.

“I can confirm that the inevitable and regrettable impact of the current situation and milestones not being met is a delay to the wider delivery plan.”