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Police Scotland Scraps Delayed £40m IT Project

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Police Scotland will press on with other IT projects after i6, which was set to cost tens of millions, is abandoned

A multi-million pound IT project for Scottish police has been scrapped because it could not be delivered on time and within budget by contractor Accenture.

The Scottish Police Association (SPA), Police Scotland and Accenture decided to mutually end the i6 project with authorities stressing that the force will not be impacted financially by the decision.

The cost of the project had been capped at £40 million and Accenture was paid for meeting certain milestones. Police Scotland has been able to recoup the money paid out, which was a fraction of the total amount allocated.

“Despite the best efforts of the SPA, Police Scotland and Accenture, it was clear that the technical solution cannot be delivered within expected timeframes and budget,” said John Foley, Chief Executive of the SPA. “The decision has therefore been taken to end the contract and reconsider options for securing a sustainable IT solution for policing.

Scottish police IT

Police security crowd control © chrisdorney Shutterstock“The terms of the agreement are commercially confidential, however we can confirm that the settlement results in no financial detriment to the police budget. While we are disappointed that i6 will not be delivered as expected, the SPA believes the decision to end the contract at this time is the right one.”

A Scottish parliamentary committee heard in February that a number of defects, some of which were critical, had been discovered during police tests and that Accenture was struggling to stamp them out.

Foley said the SPA would press ahead with other initiatives and that all lessons learned from the failed i6 project would be applied elsewhere.

“We would seek to reassure the public and our workforce that the output of i6 was only one element of our overall ICT plans,” he said.

“In the last three years we have rolled out a number of national applications to improve and enhance our IT systems and made significant investment in modernising our desktop estate. We have not stood still while awaiting delivery of i6 and we remain committed to delivering a sustainable policing model supported by modern technology.

“As with any programme of this nature or size, an independent review to ensure the SPA and Police Scotland learn lessons from this project will be initiated. This will inform our options for a sustainable IT solution going forward and which we would expect to see emerging in the months ahead. Work already under way to set out a vision and strategy for policing over the next decade will also heavily inform next steps.”

Accenture has won a number of other police IT contracts, most notably a five year application management services deal with the Metropolitan Police. The company will help the Met make use of mobile and analytics applications and foster “digital interaction” between the force and citizens.

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