Police Scotland has scrapped a project intended to unify IT systems across the eight regional police forces brought together in April 2013, along with the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency.
The i6 project, led by Accenture, was supposed to merge more than 130 policing systems across the forces, including IT and paper-based systems.
The system was due to go live in December 2015, but the deadline was pushed back to this autumn. Police officers involved in testing the systems claimed in February that they had identified 12 critical defects that made it unusable and 76 defects that required more work.
The latest IT disaster comes as the Scottish government seeks better IT leadership for such projects.
The cancellation was made "by mutual agreement", according to John Foley, CEO of the SPA. He also claimed that the cancellation will not cost any further money.
"The SPA, Police Scotland and Accenture have mutually agreed to end their contract relating to the i6 project. The decision follows a detailed review of the programme, led by the SPA, which considered alternative options and was supported by Accenture," said Foley in a statement.
"Despite the best efforts of the SPA, Police Scotland and Accenture, it was clear that the technical solution cannot be delivered within expected time frames and budget. The decision has therefore been taken to end the contract and reconsider options for securing a sustainable IT solution for policing."
However, Foley also took responsibility for the IT disaster. "Management and oversight of the i6 programme was led by the SPA and underpinned by robust contract arrangements. It was also subject to regular review and assurance," he said.
"The contract has been ended and a mutually agreed settlement has been signed by all parties. The terms of the agreement are commercially confidential. However, we can confirm that the settlement results in no financial detriment to the police budget.
"We would seek to reassure the public and our workforce that the output of i6 was only one element of our overall ICT plans. In the last three years we have rolled out a number of national applications to improve and enhance our IT systems and made significant investment in modernising our desktop estate.
"We have not stood still while awaiting delivery of i6 and we remain committed to delivering a sustainable policing model supported by modern technology."
The latest Scottish government IT disaster follows a failure to deliver new IT systems to support EU Common Agricultural Policy payments to farmers in a project costing £178m.
The Scottish government was forced to go to the European Commission to ask for an extension after failing to meet an EU deadline, and scaled back the scope of the failed project instead.
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