Delivery of second phase of multi-million pound I.T. system ‘achieveable’ in 2008

A follow-up inspection by Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) of an IT system aimed at improving the way local criminal justice agencies share information, has found the delivery of the second phase of the programme should be achieved next summer in line with its revised time table.

Two thirds of the recommendations made by the Inspectorate in July 2006 have been achieved, and failures within the various criminal justice agencies to provide the necessary resources to support the £43m. Causeway IT system in its initial stages, have been addressed.
“In the past 14 months the implementation of the second phase of the Causeway project has been rescheduled to take into account the delays highlighted in CJI’s initial report,” said Brendan McGuigan, Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland.
“Relationships between the various criminal justice agencies involved in delivering the IT system have continued to develop and improve. As a result, a more open approach to reporting both progress and difficulties as they arise now exists.
“A more robust programme management structure has also been established and CJI believes the processes are now in place that will enable the second phase of the project – DSM1— to be delivered on time, in June 2008,” he stated.
Commenting on the findings of the follow-up review Mr McGuigan said good progress had been made by the PSNI in developing a strategy to deliver a phased training programme to policing districts and in advance of the roll-out of the Niche RMS Case Preparation System. 
Plans are also in place to provide continued support once this case preparation system was up and running.
“Good work has also been carried out by the police to ensure requests for further information and updates on case files requested by other criminal justice agencies are dealt with promptly.
“The Public Prosecution Service has also put in place a monitoring system to identify in advance cases which are in danger of being ‘out of time’ (statute barred). This enables the necessary Form 1 applications to be submitted in good time so that an extension of the time allowed to prosecute a case can be secured,” Mr McGuigan said.
The Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland said he hoped work towards achieving the outstanding recommendations would continue.
“An investment appraisal of the next two stages of the Causeway IT programme is due to be carried out in 2008 and it is our hope that approval will be given for funding to allow the outstanding stages of the project to be delivered.
“Causeway remains a critical part of the strategy to deliver the criminal justice reform agenda and we hope that it will continue to progress towards becoming fully operational by December 2009,” concluded Mr McGuigan.