Information system projects of the police and the judicial administration

The objective, which was three interoperable information systems of the police and the judicial administration, was not achieved. If the interoperable systems had been implemented, they would have enabled smooth flow of information between different public authorities and improved the efficiency of criminal procedures.

The audit was targeted at three information system projects: the ERP (enterprise resource planning) system project VITJA of the police, the case and document management system project AIPA of the National Prosecution Authority Finland and the general courts, and the operational development and client data system project Roti of the Prison and Probation Service of Finland. One of the key objectives of the projects was to create an interoperable whole of information systems for criminal procedures, which start from a police investigation, then proceed to the prosecutor and the court and end with the enforcement of penalties.

The projects that were audited were launched or prepared between 2009 and 2011, and they were clearly delayed from their original timetables. The audit assessed the reasons for the problems in the implementation of the projects and the extent to which the objectives of the projects were achieved. The purpose of the audit was to produce information on the success factors of public-sector information system projects.

The projects aimed at building interoperability between the systems, but the methods used were inadequate. The problems faced by the separate projects contributed to the interoperability objective being overlooked. Because the VITJA project was discontinued in 2023, information will not be flowing smoothly, as originally planned, between public authorities and the information systems, at least in the near future.

A significant reason for the failure of the projects was that their original objectives were too extensive. The actual extent of the objectives became evident to those who carried out the projects only after the projects had been launched. This resulted from inadequate planning during the initial phase of the projects. The projects exceeded the original timetables clearly, and they also ran clearly over the budgets. By the end of 2023, a total of over EUR 200 million had been spent on the development of the systems, which is almost three times the amount originally planned.