Savings from police phones 'woeful'
Filed under: Mobile
The savings achieved were "woeful", the Public Accounts Committee said.
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The intention was to spend £71 million on 41,000 BlackBerry phones for police officers but the committee found that in some forces nobody has a device while in others every officer and support staff member has one.
Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said: "Although some forces have used the devices to improve efficiency, most have not. And although most forces reported the devices allowed officers to spend more time out of the station, some said using the devices actually led officers to spend more time in the station. The department and agency does not know why.
"Not enough attention has been paid to outcomes. The programme was supposed to contribute £125 million to cashable savings by the police service. So far it has managed a woeful £600,000, less than 1% of the public money spent on the scheme."
With the Home Office working on the creation of a company to manage centrally purchased IT for the police, Mrs Hodge said clear guidance needs to be in place on what needs to be purchased in future and why.
The committee found that more effort was focused on providing the new equipment rather than establishing whether or not it worked effectively, Mrs Hodge said.
The result was that neither the Home Office nor the NPIA know what benefits there have been or if the £71 million spent has been value for money.
The project, the Mobile Information Programme, ran between 2008 and 2010, with the Home Office distributing money through the NPIA. It was used to buy BlackBerrys and personal data assistants for police officers and police community support officers.
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