back to article Police ICT Company kills £500m procurement, no longer wants one box shifter to rule them all

The Police ICT Company has paused a procurement process to find a "partner" that will oversee tech purchases and administer contracts on behalf of forces across the UK – a contract said to be worth up to £500m. A tender was published on the Office Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in November that stated the organisation …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yo yo its 50(0)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fiddy? Is that you?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "formative re-set and re-brand"

    anyone spouting such drivel should have an old-school brand applied to them (think cowboys, red hot irons and cattle)

    Just get the kit that the plods need. This has dragged on too long

    1. jerkyflexoff

      Re: "formative re-set and re-brand"

      It's easy to buy the kit they need, the tough job is making the kit efficient, cost saving and universal amongst the country. Like having applications that do multiple jobs not a single application for a single task. I don't really think you understand the complexity of the police requirements.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "formative re-set and re-brand"

        Don't think the effort involved in rebranding is exactly an urgent operation priority though... I'd rather my radio works properly tbh but maybe I'm a dying breed...

  3. EscapedTheInsanity

    Ah a new and innovative idea to get coppers what they need.....


    A fair few moons ago when I worked at a police force I had the pleasure of working under the Sprint II procurement rules.

    You weren't allowed to say exactly what you wanted, you had to give a high level description of a functionality you wanted and then SCC would go and find a solution for you and implement it.

    It never worked that way.

    My observation was that SCC would go direct to a vendor of their preference (whoever was paying most for beer tokens and corporate hospitality) and then tell you that you needed to buy their solution for amounts that would make your member recede back into your body.

    When my account manager got fed up of touting things that we never went for came to me wondering why we never put anything through him I gave him a radical solution. Let me go off and talk to vendors and I'll do the dog work putting together POC's and technical evaluations and they can come to you pricing. Much better. I got what we wanted/needed at the price we were willing to pay (as I was negotiating the budget) and the vendors know what price point we can do a deal on and the SCC guy got his commission. Everyone walks away happy.

    Why not empower the teams to have ownership of the solution......

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hello, hello

    Is that the laughing policeman?

    May-bee, May-bee not.

    (May-bee as in Queen Bee syndrome)

  5. Anonymous IV

    "The tender strategists"

    I like that concept! Clearly not the usual hard-nosed bunch...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Yesterday’s technology tomorrow

    Bring back PITO!

  7. AdrianMontagu

    No overall policy from the Home Office

    43 Police Forces all delivering the same basic services to the public.

    43 different systems.

    43 different ideas on how to firewall it.

    43 different ways on how to connect it

    43 different budget percentages

    43 ...

    43 ...

    If you want to keep costs down, standardise the approach, standardise the systems. Join up the systems completely, not piecemeal. Look at the unification of strategy.

    The trouble is, you won't get any unification whilst there are individual Crime Commisioners who would go if the forces joined up. There would need to be a rethink there too.

    It is all about little feifdoms! As long as the Home Office allows this, the costs will rise and rise and the systems will move from one problem to another.

    As a country we are very poor at large scale management. Could do better!

    1. hottuberrol

      Re: No overall policy from the Home Office

      If you would please stop thinking up new jobs for Chris Grayling to mess up, the nation will be eternally in your debt.

    2. Severus

      Re: No overall policy from the Home Office

      In principle you're absolutely right, it makes no sense. However, in practice the Home Office couldn't run a bun fight in a bakery and expecting them to be able to establish and run a central IT system that would or could support all police forces is not credible.As for seetting policy, all they ever do is set policy which is like letting a 12 year old child perform brain surgery. If the individual forces were to surrender their IT budgets to the Home Office they would receive a much worse service at a vastly greater cost. Just look at what the Public Accounts Committee has to say about any of the large scale IT projects that the Home Office has under way.

  8. localzuk Silver badge


    Why do so many organisations, like police or the NHS, have so much difficulty working in a unified manner? Why doesn't the central government dept in charge formulate standards and then each force or whatever have to buy products that comply with them? They don't all have to use the same piece of software, but if they all implement the same APIs and work with each other, then surely that's better than the current weird mess?

    1. granvil_33

      Re: Standards?

      Easier said than done, Policing in the UK is provided by (approx) 60 organisations all with separate governance structures. These organisations are accountable locally , so even when PITO/NPIA/Police ICT Company do produce standards, Police organisations opt for tactical solutions that satisfy the local imperatives.

      IMHO the only way to resolve this conundrum is to have a single governance structure.

    2. TrumpSlurp the Troll

      Re: Standards?

      Already done in the NHS.

      Big project with a massive budget a few years back.


  9. Anonymous Coward

    Doing the Right Thing?

    If they've shelved a big procurement contract, that's one fewer expensive Crapita/Accenture/whatever disaster for taxpayers.

    They may not be doing the Right Thing, but at least that's one Wrong Thing not done.

  10. Valerion

    A spokesbod for Police ICT Company said:

    spokesplod, surely?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A spokesbod for Police ICT Company said:

      "Ello' Ello' Ello' and thank you for coming to today's press briefing".

  11. Steve B

    Good Idea but never works.

    We did that in Local Government. It ended up that if we wanted to buy something specialised we had to do the evaluation and negotiation ourselves, then the vendor would try to get on the supply list so we could actually procure it!

    All well and good until other more generalised vendors got into price wars to get the preferred supplier option. This was obliviously at cost to something and if you weren't careful you had to buy the poor offering they were selling.

    Meanwhile whilst with the Police, we noticed that every force had their own way of doing things complete with their own supplier and there was no way they were going to change.

    Using the central supplier may help shortcut the procurement process, but what is really needed is a "Police team" consisting of the best workers, civilians, admin, audit, and even a few force managers, from multiple forces who have the capability to take the best available processes from each of the forces, tweaking them to suit every force and then amalgamate them into one system, easily paramatised to allow some local customisation, but in general just coming up with one system to put into each force. As it would be the same system, the data would be easily shared and manipulated with little effort as requirements grow.

    The development team should be made up from proven in house programmers from the various forces and coopted specialists as required, making sure the expertise stays spread and in house.

    It worked for us on a single force scale and we sold software on, but it would never happen now though! Crime Commissioners have to protect their empires.

  12. PhilipVirgo

    Home Office and Police Forces should take a look at how JISC does procurements on behalf of the Universities. IMHO it run by far the most cost effective set of procurement vehicles in the UK. Cheap to run, cheap to bid and well below average prices for the widest range of choices.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "well below average prices for the widest range of choices"

      But isn't that just because you're getting education discounts ?

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