The Belgian police are facing problems with their digital transformation. I-Police, a project involving an investment of three hundred million euros, is in danger of failing.
Deloitte consultants warn that things must change. In an audit, they conclude that more central control is urgently needed, according to Flemish business newspaper De Tijd, which was granted access to the report.
I-Police provides for the replacement of eighty applications. The intention is to develop one large, umbrella database that extracts the right information in real time from a substantial number of underlying databases and links them with other records. Ai will be used to combine, for example, fingerprints, camera images, photographs and other traces. Investigators can thus work much faster and more effectively.
Deloitte is critical of the Directorate of Information (DRI). This department, in charge of coordinating police information management, information processes and deict projects, is not very good. The problem, according to Deloitte, is that the DRI’s role is poorly defined. As a result, core tasks such as i-Police receive too little attention. Numerous IT projects are also running, and it is not clear how much priority they have.
Deloitte thinks the DRI should develop a clear digital strategy with clear choices, direction and follow-up. In addition, the DRI makes the mistake of seeing digital transformation mainly as a technical process. The social aspects, necessary organisational changes and communication are lost sight of.
Furthermore, proper information management is lacking. The privacy of citizens about whom data has been collected is insufficiently safeguarded. Sometimes personal data are accessed without being necessary for the performance of police duties.