The Police ICT Company should be at the heart of all developments and create an environment in which poor quality IT is no longer acceptable, according to its new chief executive.
Ian Bell: Bringing learning
from NEP to bring about
common model of IT development
Ian Bell, currently the director of National Enabling Programmes (NEP) and former chief information officer of the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire tri-force ICT collaboration, has been appointed to lead the company from next month.
The announcement was made at the Police ICT conference on Wednesday (January 17) and ends a long running search to find a replacement for Martin Wyke, who left the company in April 2017.
Chair of the company’s governance board and police and crime commissioner for Sussex, Katy Bourne, said Mr Bell is a hugely capable individual and has the support of chief information and technology officers across the country as well as major stakeholders of the organisation.
Mrs Bourne said: “His experience running IT across three forces and having been the previous chair of the National Police Technology Council shows he has the critical police knowledge for the role.”
Mr Bell said he is grateful for the support from across policing which he hopes to be able to leverage and “create a strong belief in the company’s delivery model, that starts to quickly produce distinct advantages for the police community, whether that is driving national activity or supporting local IT developments”.
Mr Bell is due to present a vision for the company to its governance board on February 8 but told Police Professional that his priority will be to create an environment in which it is no longer acceptable for some forms of government technology to be poor quality.
“We have to work hard, whether that is in our commitment, benefits realisation, cost or quality of product, and put best practice in place, to provide opportunities for commonality and standardisation.
“That will begin to enhance and drive transformation in process and change and gives us the opportunity to rationalise our IT estate for the common good. That drives good quality for me,” Mr Bell said.
He intends to re-examine forces’ spend analysis, conducted by PWC consultants in 2017, which detailed a number of capabilities and opportunities that can be taken forward.
Part of his vision will be to expand the company’s role beyond being a contract and procurement vehicle, also advising on technology, offering technical services, testing, designing and influencing business analysis.
“The Police ICT Company should sit at the heart of all the good stuff coming down the tracks, investing in getting an understanding of the innovation that can help change police technology for those forces that do not have the resources to do so.”
He said the learning from NEP can inform future IT development and establish a common model for transformation.
The company can also operate as a centre of thought leadership, while offering ideas on standardisation, forces can still operate autonomously and with their own IT strategies, informed by the knowledge shared by the company.
“There is the opportunity for the company to become a centre of excellence and a quality gate,” Mr Bell added.
Mrs Bourne also thanked Robert Leach, who served as acting chief executive since April 2017 with “professionalism and enthusiasm”, and wished him every success in the future.