Document 3:12 (2011–2012) The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation of the management of ICT in the criminal justice chain was submitted to the Storting on 31 May 2012.
Previous audits have shown that the police have had extensive challenges with their IT systems and that the lack of overall control has weakened coordination in the criminal justice chain. The Storting has stipulated that efforts to improve ICT systems must be strengthened.
- This audit shows that few concrete steps have been taken to reach the goal of electronic coordination. This is an unsatisfactory situation for the police, courts and correctional services, says Kosmo.
The three sub-sectors use a lot of the same information, and the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) concludes that better information flow and collaboration across the sectors will contribute to more efficient administrative procedures.
- For example, it is unsatisfactory that the Norwegian Criminal Code of 2005 and the Police Register Act of 2010 have not entered into force because a comprehensive adaptation of the police case processing system must be carried out first. In addition, the sub-sectors have failed to systematically upgrade technical infrastructure, causing problems for users, says Kosmo.
An examination of how long the police use to record reports and decisions not to prosecute shows that improved ICT systems can reduce the amount of time spent by 13 to 16 full-time equivalents (FTE). New ICT systems are expected to provide significant resource savings in the criminal justice process. The OAG indicates that a time saving of 3-5 minutes in 50 work processes in 150,000 cases could equal between 280 and 460 FTEs.
- While there is great uncertainty regarding this estimate, it nevertheless shows that improved ICT systems can free up a lot of time for the police. And there is reason to believe that the courts and correctional services could also reap great benefits, says Kosmo.
The OAG recommends that the Ministry of Justice and Public Security develop joint plans for how to achieve electronic coordination, and to adopt incentives to encourage the sub-sectors to give higher priority to this issue.
- It is encouraging that the Ministry adopted a new ICT strategy in 2011, and that the police have started to upgrade their IT infrastructure and overhaul their criminal justice systems. The ICT fora that the Ministry has established should also be given a clear definition of tasks and responsibilities, says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.
The Minister of Justice says she takes a serious view of the comments the OAG has made about the management of ICT in the criminal justice chain, which she will follow up to achieve better coordination, and that it may be appropriate to make changes in the management model for ICT work.
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