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The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation of the management of ICT in the criminal justice chain

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Summary

Background and objectives for the investigation

Previous investigations from the OAG have found that the police have had extensive challenges with their ICT systems, and that a lack of overall management has, among other things, weakened coordination in the criminal justice chain. The aim of this audit was to assess how the Ministry of Justice and Public Security has discharged its responsibility for efficient case processing in the criminal justice chain through the development of ICT.

Methodology

The survey covers the years 2009-2011 and is based on reports and documents received from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the police, courts and correctional services. Data was collected via post, verified interviews and police statistics. In addition, a time tracking survey was conducted in eight selected police districts.

Results

The sub-sectors have perceived the management signals from the Ministry as unclear. No overall plan for development and operation of ICT management has been prepared. The OAG recommends that the Ministry manage ICT work with more clarity, and develop a common overall rolling action plan based on the ICT strategy for the justice sector. The OAG is pleased to see that the agencies were given clear requirements in this regard in the allocation letters for 2012.

The sub-sectors depend on much of the same information, and it is important that the development of a new criminal justice system by the police takes the other sub-sectors’ need for electronic coordination into account.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security has created several fora for ICT cooperation in the justice sector. The ICT board has existed for over ten years without a mandate. While extensive research has been done, none of the fora have taken steps to achieve the objectives of electronic coordination. The OAG recommends that the Ministry provide the ICT boards with mandates that clarify their responsibilities and powers.

The accounts of the Norwegian Police Directorate and the National Police Computing and Material Service show that the police spent much of their ICT development funds on consulting services in the period from 2009 to September 2011. The OAG recommends that the Ministry consider measures that ensure transfer of expertise in the ICT area to the Police Directorate.

A time tracking study of the amount of time police spend on recording reports and decisions not to prosecute in their case processing system shows a potential gain of 13 to 16 FTEs for these actions alone.

The Minister of Justice says that in light of the recommendations of the OAG it may be appropriate to make changes in the management model for ICT work.

Ministry/ministries:

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Riksrevisjonen, Storgata 16, P.O. Box 8130 Dep, 0032 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 24 10 00

Org.nr: 974 760 843