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no costings done for INCIS stage one

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The Government is in no position to evaluate whether or not to continue with INCIS, because of its own failure to work out what benefits, if any, would flow from the first stage of the computer project, Labour police spokesperson George Hawkins said.

Written questions to the Treasurer Sir William Birch have revealed further evidence of the Government's complete mishandling of Police IT needs.

"When the INCIS contract with IBM was signed in 1994, benefits expected from the project were not specifically identified by each of the three increments. When the contract was revised in 1997 the Government once again failed to quantify the benefits of each stage.

"It now looks like increment one is all that police will get. Despite having no idea what benefits will flow from it, the Government is already sacking vital support staff. Far from delivering benefits, frontline police have described INCIS increment one as a leap backwards and a dog that won't bark.

"In the original business case, $380 million of benefits were predicted. This figure represented supposed efficiency savings of 1.9 million hours a year and anticipated export sales. The Government agreed to the project on the basis they would get 30% of this value back through police staff cuts. At the time this was expected to be 540 jobs.

"Despite the fanciful nature of these expected benefits, in 1997 they were revised not down, but up. The Government was now expecting benefits from a completed INCIS system of $494 million. The Treasurer has confirmed in his written replies that the 30/70 split still stands. That means the Government is expecting the Police to pay back $148 million. How many jobs will have to be cut to achieve this?

"The questions have also revealed that in 1997 the total cost of INCIS was expected to be $224 million.

"What a shambles. The Government is now seeking advice from all and sundry because it has failed to provide even the most basic financial monitoring of INCIS. It has no idea whether increment one will deliver any benefits. The Police Review cannot proceed in such circumstances, and there must be no more job losses," Mr Hawkins said.

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