NSW Police in $240 million IT infrastructure upgrade

New South Wales Police expects a decision next month on its landmark A$400 million (US$240 million) proposal to Treasury for an eight- to 10-year upgrade of its IT infrastructure.

The Cops2 proposal will move the police’s existing system out of a mainframe environment, as support for the mainframe will expire in 2007, according to director of special projects, Chris Evans.

“Cops2 will also identify improvements in the business practices of NSW Police aimed at giving police faster access to information and images, and reducing the time taken to upload data and information,” Evans said.

“This will affect all areas of how we use technology, how we charge people, how we log events, etc.,” Evans said.

At this stage only a “comprehensive business case has been developed”, and specific equipment requirements are yet to be decided.

NSW Treasury will present the Cops2 proposal to the budget committee of cabinet this month and a decision is expected by May.

Evans said NSW Police were “confident” their request would be met.

Cops2 will run in four stages of two years each. These will cover new work practices, data migration, etc., he said.

One source told Computerworld that part of the upgrade will see the police move to an intranet based on J2EE.

Asked to confirm this move, Evans said, “An intranet is one of the options, yes.” Supply contracts for Cops2 may not be limited to existing government suppliers, “we may have to look outside”, said Evans.

According to sources, the technology services departments of NSW Police have recently assessed a range of devices, including PDAs and biometric storage cards, for possible use by the police.

A source said that NSW Police had kept the proposal quiet during the recent NSW election to avoid unwanted attention.

The Cops2 proposal follows the NSW Police’s current roll-out of Windows XP as the standard operating environment for its 10,000 PCs throughout NSW.