National information system puts an end to police’s ICT problems
The police will get one national information system to put an end to the ICT problems of the police. The existing ICT support for police officers will be improved shortly. In 2012, police officers will be able to use computer programmes that are user-friendlier and more reliable. As from 2014, a new Police Database will replace the present information systems for enforcement and investigation purposes. The organisation of the new information system focuses on the activities of the police officers in the street, as is stated the Police Information System Action Programme, which was submitted to parliament by Mr Opstelten, the Minister of Security and Justice, today. The measures are intended to restore the confidence of police officers and citizens in the ICT systems of the police.
The action programme includes all recommendations made by the Dutch Court of Audit (Algemene Rekenkamer) in its investigation report on the state of affairs of police ICT facilities. The starting point of the action programme is that police ICT systems must not be a nuisance, but must present advantages and easier working methods for police officers. Citizens will also benefit from the ICT innovation, because police officers will have more time to combat crime and nuisance in the street. The implementation of one national information system requires the innovation of the existing, obsolete police ICT systems. The innovation and replacement of both hardware and software systems of the police will be implemented in stages over the next few years.
Several measures will be taken in 2011 and 2012 already, to facilitate the implementation:
- The 16 most frequently used forms in the Enforcement Database (Basisvoorziening Handhaving, BVH) will be simplified, as a result of which police officers need to complete less information and perform less administrative activities.
- The Investigation Database (Basisvoorziening Opsporing, BVO) will be replaced by a temporary solution, as a result of which police officers will be able to prepare and maintain files in an easier and better way.
- There will be one database for all police officers to access all vital national information.
- The technical facilities will be improved in order to increase the systems’ continuity and stability.
As from 2014, the new Police Database will be implemented step by step. The distinction between reinforcement and investigation will be abolished. The system can be characterised by its user-friendliness: data need not be entered more than once. Apart from its user-friendliness and less blackouts, the national information system must also ensure better exchange of information between police officers and between the police and other organisations, such as the public prosecutor’s office. The new information system must also lead to lower maintenance costs. At this time, the larger part of the police’s ICT budget is spent on the maintenance of the existing systems. As a result, there is hardly any money left for innovation at the moment.
The Minister has designated the national Chief Information Officer (CIO) to be in charge of the action plan. This officer will be responsible for the central management of the information services, from workplace to data centre, of the police. The implementation of the action programme will be completed in 2017. Minister Opstelten will make an extra sum of 201.9 million euros available for tackling the ICT problems. For the period after that, a sum of 124.1 million euros has been reserved, which will be compensated by savings in the ICT maintenance department. The solution of the ICT problems will not affect the operational police force or the handling of national priorities.