Working group submitted its report on the Vitja project
The working group set up by the National Police Board has now completed its report on the Vitja IT system project. Three alternative models have been proposed and the timelines and costs of these have also been estimated. Follow-up actions will be decided on the basis of the report and the working group’s proposal.
”The report is honest, open and fair in weighing up the alternatives,” assesses Marko Manninen, Head of the Information Technology Centre of the Police.
The objective of the Vitja project is to enable the entire criminal procedure - starting with the report of an offence all the way through to the prosecutor, court and criminal sanctions - to be handled electronically. The progress of Vitja has faced significant challenges. The original timelines and resources needed were underestimated.
“We are gathering more information to support decision-making,” is how Assistant Police Commissioner Hannu Kautto at the Police operations unit of the National Police Board, who chairs the Vitja steering group, describes the tasks after the report.
“Our job is to ensure that the choices support as an effective and economical IT system as possible that meets existing and future needs to support police work and improve efficiency,” Kautto adds.
The Assistant Police Commissioner will make his decision on the operating model to be selected based on the proposal of the Police operations unit in March 2023.
Vitja is intended to replace numerous police systems that have reached the end of their useful life. Some of the technology in existing systems is obsolete. The obsolescence of police IT systems is partly a result of the challenging funding situation faced by the police: the systems already suffer from a major technology update deficit.
Several systems already in production for the police and other criminal investigation authorities have been completed under the Vitja project. These systems include the distinguishing features register, electronic crime reporting process, identification of persons from photos attached to a crime report, the police intelligence system and data processing models for the rest of the systems.
The systems have more than 50 interfaces to thirty different authority systems so that information would flow automatically and securely from one authority to another throughout the process. The systems being developed comply with existing requirements for privacy protection, data protection, data security, event logs and information lifecycle management.
The challenges of the Vitja ecosystem have become apparent as the work has progressed. The project and its operating models have been regularly assessed. Because the work was delayed, changes in legislation, among other things, resulted in further needs for change. For example, the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Police (616/2019) laid down new obligations, which are difficult to implement in the IT system. The security network used by the security authorities and its requirements have also hampered and slowed work.
The key aim of the working group has been to present alternatives that can be used to prioritise and make follow-up work more efficient. The challenge regarding police operations systems has been that there are no off-the-shelf solutions. Different legislation also means that solutions cannot be copied directly from other countries either.