Met HR chief downplays fears over IT system delays

The Metropolitan Police’s HR chief has insisted that a new multi-million pound HR system will deliver the promised benefits, despite a delay in going live.

The new IT system, from supplier Steria, was initially due to cost £38m with promised savings of £15m on HR costs. It forms a key part of the Transforming HR programme, which was introduced last year to ensure the provision of a more efficient and effective HR service to the Met’s 55,000 employees.

But a report in the Times claims it is running late and is £10m over budget. The newspaper quotes a source as saying: “Lawyers have been consulted but the cost of litigation would be greater than the cost of trying to fix it.”

However, Martin Tiplady, HR director at the Met, said: “We envisage Steria delivering the products they have been commissioned to provide.

“Transforming HR is a major change programme. The original go-live date was provisionally forecast to be December 2009, but the technology is not yet fully developed. Progress is on track with a revised go-live plan forecast to be the second half of 2010.”

When the contract was first announced, Tiplady had said: “The HR requirements of the Metropolitan Police service are different to those of other organisations. Steria gives us the best possible HR service for our employees.”

The Met will be under even greater pressure to reduce costs under the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition with its plans to achieve £6bn worth of cuts, especially in light of David Cameron’s direct reference to the force’s HR department during one of the leaders’ debates.

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