Millions spent on Dutch police's problematic digital archive


The replacement of the National Police's digital archive system cost the government millions of euros more than expected, newspaper AD reports based on its own research. The system, called Documentum, was installed in 2013 and is still not working properly.

The police completely underestimated the cost and effort involved in installing and implementing the new system, according to the newspaper. In 2014 a police official already stated that the "software is more complex than previously estimated". The police's IT personnel do not understand how the digitial archive works.

Last year external consultants were called in to try and get the system on track and teach the police to use it. But it did not happen soon enough for the police to avoid having to pay 2.5 million euros to keep Corsa, Documentum's predecessor, online for longer. That is on top of the 12.7 million euros spent on Documentum up until the end of last year. Most of that money went into licensing and maintenance. The police also spent 51 thousand manhours on the project.

"In practice we encountered incidents that we did not previously take into account", a spokesperson for th corps management said to the newspaper. "The new system offers many opportunities It requires knowledge and experience to explore and exploit these opportunities. That is taking longer than expected."

Despite the delays, the corps leadership still stands behind the decision for Documentum, the spokesperson added. The full implementation of the system is delayed by about a year. Currently six of the 10 police units are using it. It should be installed in all units by June.