back to article Skimming cash off UK police budget for tech projects probably not the best idea, say MPs

Slicing police funding to inject cash into national programmes – a big chunk of which is funnelled into tech – might not be an effective use of public cash, and some projects face a cliff edge when funding runs out. Or so say MPs in the latest report (PDF) on the state of police funding: the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I never expected that

    A Home Office screw up with a pork barrel too. Who'd 'a thought it?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I never expected that

      GIven some recent headlines involving the NHS.... (both in the UK: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/manager-who-defrauded-welsh-nhs-15366209 and in Queensland: http://www.mcleodgovernance.com/the-tahitian-prince-fraud/ )

      A little bit of due diligence looking into the directorship and management structure of companies being awarded contracts wouldn't go at all amiss.

      The two cases stand out - one because of the sheer audacity of the numbers (which finally attracted an auditor's attention) and the other because it was only discovered after a fraud line tipoff.

      However they don't really stand out because of those factors - they stand out BECAUSE THEY GOT CAUGHT. This kind of scam is far too easy easy to perpetrate in the UK Civil Service - if it takes a 3rd party tipoff or simple brazen avarice to make people realise this kind of thing has been happening, then the odds are pretty good they're just the tip of the iceberg.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's worse than that

    As someone who has a connection into the land of the blue, it's actually worse than that.

    The forces get skimmed whether they like it or not and THEN if they want into whatever project is being talked about they have to pay more their own budgets. And they get asked to do that without seeing any plans for what is happening with that project.

    It's a joke.

  3. Commswonk Silver badge

    From Whose Perspective..?

    From the article: Slicing police funding to inject cash into national programmes – a big chunk of which is funnelled into tech – might not be an effective use of public cash,

    and

    the Home Office may not be making the best use of its budget and needs to figure out how to improve delivery of broad projects.

    From the Police perspective it's dreadful; the Home Office top - slicing budgets with Chief Constables having to manage on what's left.

    From the taxpayers' perspective it's dreadful because their money is being spent, notionally on policing, but the service they get from the police when they are really needed is diminishing.

    From the Home Office perspective it's ideal; other peoples' money to spend, plenty of meetings to hold and no real accountability because the likelihood of serious chastisement when nothing comes from it is vanishingly small.

    It's because of the last point that there is no real incentive for the Home Office to "figure out how to improve delivery of broad projects".

    Having said that it is perhaps unfair to single out the Home Office for criticism; it is hardly the only department of government with a record of burning through millions with little or nothing to show for it at the end, or for what does result not fulfilling the intended purpose.

  4. Teiwaz Silver badge

    And siphoned off for what?

    Is it just the new emergency system in waiting....?

    It wouldn't surprise if the H.O were trying to use AI (and blockchain) to try some sort of minority report precrime - 'cause it must be posible as it was on the telly....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having work with the HO on policing issues, I can assume (?) you that the majority of the management understand feck all about what they are pushing, care for buzzwords one everything else and five shit attention to they technical staff.

    So all as usual, stand to you desks. Just don't go any where near them - too much grief (management ayway)

    Ok I know I am preaching to the converted and persuaded.......

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