£407,000 bill for police consultants

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Lincolnshire Police have spent £407,000 in the current financial year on consultants to look at its IT systems and property.

The force has an expenditure budget of £120m but is expecting to see a reduction in its Government grant of 5.1 per cent.

The force says that over the last year it has looked at finding savings.

Director of finance and administration Peter Steed said: “In terms of overall spend on consultants this has to be seen in the context of the force’s overall expenditure of approximately £120m per annum of which approximately £90m is spent on staff.

“Consultants are used when we need to access skills that it isn’t economic to maintain in house, for example specialist computer programmers or architects.

“Such costs are normally linked to specific schemes.

“Approval processes for such schemes is stringent with the benefits being compared and contrasted with other options including staffing to see which would be of most benefit to the county.

“In some instances this could be investment in staff, in others investment in new technology or in modernised facilities.”

The force owns a handful of police houses and is looking to sell the old and unused police stations in Lincoln and Grantham, which have been replaced.

The force has been looking at its property to see what its future uses could be. Consultants have been employed to provide surveying, architectural and engineering support as the force reviews its property.

Computer consultations were brought in to look at the future development of its wide area network, which had resulted in savings, and to define the upgrade for its telephone system.

Software development and support included the creation of a search engine which would search through numerous systems.