Media release: Funding enhancements for police technology

The Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford, today released a report on how the NSW Police Force managed a $100 million program to acquire new technology. The program invested in technologies intended to make police work safer and quicker. These included body-worn video (BWV) cameras, smart phone devices, mobile fingerprint scanners and hand-held drug testing devices.

The audit found that while the NSW Police Force mostly managed the ‘Policing for Tomorrow’ program effectively, investment decision making could be improved in the future. The NSW Police Force missed an opportunity to take a whole-of-organisation approach to identify capability gaps and target the acquired technologies to plug these.

The NSW Police Force has processes in place to monitor the benefits of some of the larger technology, but it does not do this consistently for all procured technology. It could not demonstrate that smaller projects are improving the efficiency or effectiveness of policing.

The audit also found that the NSW Police Force does not routinely engage with external stakeholders on the use or impacts of new technology that changes how officers interact with the public, noting that this will not always be possible for particularly sensitive procurements that involve covert technologies or methodologies.

The Auditor-General made three recommendations to guide improvement of NSW Police Force ICT procurement, benefits management and stakeholder engagement processes.

Further information

Please contact Ian Goodwin, Deputy Auditor-General on 9275 7347 or by email