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Government To Sell INCIS Mainframe

The Government confirmed today that it would put the controversial INCIS mainframe up for sale.

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard and Police Minister George Hawkins today released the report, which considered options in light of the previous Government's axing of the Police's INCIS project.

The Ministers said that Cabinet had approved a 'task list' developed by that project team to guide the police's information technology requirements. That list (see attached) included putting the mainframe up for sale.

"INCIS has been an enormous waste of taxpayer funds and has resulted in a loss of direction and morale within the police," Trevor Mallard said.

"The new Government is learning from the mistakes made by the previous administration.

"Across the entire state sector we are moving towards more careful consideration of needs and costs before decisions on information technology provision are made. We want to encourage cumulative technology enhancements rather than enormous projects that, if not completed, end up next to useless and/or have costs that run out of control.

"By contrast, National operated under a 'fools rush in' system and did not understand the commitments they were making or listen to expert advice. They simply were not cautious enough with public money," Trevor Mallard said.

Police Minister George Hawkins said he fully supported the decision to sell the mainframe.

"The costs of maintaining the INCIS mainframe are huge – approximately $500,000 a month to run. This drain takes resources away from police operations and ultimately inhibits frontline police from doing their job.

"National's IT expert Maurice Williamson had warned his Cabinet that expert advice from Microsoft insisted that what the police were going to do with INCIS was impossible. Despite that fact, Jenny Shipley, John Luxton and the National Cabinet ignored that advice.

"In the future, I will take a modular approach to developing the police information technology systems. Each step will be tested to ensure it is functional. For example, can intelligence on gangs and criminal activity be stored and processed? Modules will not be finally approved until they pass tests," George Hawkins said.


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