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Police Service of Northern Ireland: Telephone Services

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Police Service of Northern Ireland spent on external consultants in relation to improving call handling in each of the last five years; and what assessment he has made of the effects of such expenditure. (128027)

The Police Service of Northern Ireland expenditure on external consultants in relation to improving call handling in the last five years is as follows:

Table 1: External expenditure on consultancy in relation to improving call handling

Financial year

External consultancy (£)

2002-03

7,000

2003-04

2004-05

31,489

2005-06

30,062

2006-07 (To date)

Total

68,551

These costs were incurred by the PSNI, through its Information Management Steering Group, in establishing a Call Management project appraising how best to take forward call management within the PSNI over the next 20 years.

The spend represents value for money in effectively delivering the outline specification for the project in line with Recommendation 93 of The Report of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland (Patten Report) requires the PSNI to prepare and deliver an IT strategy that will

“. .deliver fully integrated technology systems that are readily accessible to all staff, and should take advantage of the best analytical and communications systems currently available”.

PSNI expenditure in call management is of the order of £40 million per annum. The call centre handling project is in the early stages of business appraisal.