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Police In Danger Of Budget Blowout

Police say they are in danger of a budget blowout, with their finances having to support both the failed INCIS project and the Wanganui computer.

Acting Police Commissioner Rob Robertson told a Parliamentary Law And Order Committee that police finances were severely under stress with money still being spent maintaining Incis and the Wanganui computer.

Police have since had to pay $18 million for work done by IBM on INCIS after the company and the government settled out of court last year. The money had been previously withheld while the dispute was in court.

Police also budget millions of dollars a year to maintain the ailing Wanganui computer system which the INCIS computer was meant to replace.

In his report to the committee Robertson said the police’s reputation had suffered because of INCIS and the controversy which lead to Commissioner Peter Doone’s early retirement.

These setbacks should not obscure what was generally a successful year for police fighting crime and re-structuring,to bring more police into front line duties he said.

Police Minister George Hawkins has previously said a Labour Government would find the most cost-effective way of adding 'bells and whistles' to INCIS to give the police the crime-fighting tool they need. He is continuing budget discussions with police.

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