27 July 2010 | Angeline Albert
The UK Home Office is to specify procurement arrangements to be used by the police service, according to a consultation document published yesterday.
In a white paper seeking views on how the police provides value for money, the government said it would legislate “at an early opportunity” to specify procurement arrangements and drive the convergence of IT systems.
Policing in the 21st century: Reconnecting police and the people also said the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) would be phased out and its role reviewed taking into consideration consultation responses. The NPIA looks after IT developments and collaborative procurement.
The document said the NPIA had “acted as a catalyst for identifying areas for efficiency gains within forces, encouraging greater collaboration and identifying where economies of scale can be realised through national procurement frameworks. It has succeeded in the first stage of rationalising a number of different agencies responsible for supporting police forces”.
It added: “We will look at what aspects of the NPIA’s functions are still needed and if so, how they might best be delivered in a new landscape, including alternative funding models.”
In the past, the police have found difficulty achieving joint working because each force is independent, reporting to a local police authority and not to any central body. The consultation document said it expected “the Association of Chief Police Officers to play a leading role in ensuring that chief constables drive value for money and have the capability to drive out costs in their forces”.
In his June Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the Home Office will face cuts and police funding will have to take its fair share of them. The eight-week consultation ends on 20 September.