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Tuesday 14 November 2017

Further delays for ESN

Home Office LogoIn a move that will surprise nobody, the Home Office has admitted that the implementation of the Emergency Services Network (ESN) will face further delays. The ESN programme is designed to replace the Airwave system currently used by police, fire and ambulance services in Great Britain with a new network.

In November 2016, the Home Office admitted to a “little slippage” in the timetable for ESN delivery. In December 2016, it notified the Public Accounts Committee to say that delays had grown and it had pushed back the start date for transition by nine months, from September 2017 to July 2018. This meant the date for completion was pushed back to September 2020.

Speaking at yesterday’s Public Accounts Committee meeting in the House of Commons, Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, said the implementation of ESN will be delayed even further, but he was unable to give a date for when the transition will begin.

Rutnam said the Home Office is currently reviewing the timetable for the programme, both in terms of schedule and cost. He said, “there have been further delays—it's clear the programme will take longer”. However, until the review is completed we will not know the full extent of these delays and the potential cost implications.

In September 2016, the NAO warned that a 12-month delay would cost the taxpayer an additional £475m (see MPs warn Emergency Services Network target date unlikely to be met). The Public Accounts Committee indicated that it would be calling the Home Office back in January 2018 once the review of the ESN programme has been completed.

For further information about ESN and technology in policing please see our recent report: UK Police SITS Supplier Landscape & Market Trends 2017-18.

Posted by Dale Peters at '09:52' - Tagged: police   network   government   emergency   bluelight   emergency   police   emergency   police   emergency   police   emergency   police  

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