The Victoria Police force is reinventing itself after an investigation into procurement practices, establishing a $4 million, 30-man business unit to improve the delivery of services across the organisation.
The department created headlines last year after former CIO Valda Berzins and several technology staff were singled out by the Victorian ombudsman, which investigated the tendering and contracting practices of the Business and Information Technology Services (BITS) department.
The investigation concluded there was poor scrutiny of the department's spending, a disregard for proper procurement and contract management processes, and conflict of interest when the CIO and other staff accepted invitations to major sporting events.
A Victoria Police spokesperson said staff and resources for the strategic business engagement group had been assembled from a wider restructure of the IT department.
"The Strategic Business Engagement group will be comprised of staff responsible for customer engagement, supported by resources with expertise in process design, process improvement and in change management," the spokesperson said.
"It will have responsibility for ensuring close and effective engagement between BITS, as the Victoria Police IT service provider, and the diverse business functions across the organisation that BITS supports."
Victoria Police is on the hunt for someone to lead the unit, and they will report to executive director of infrastructure, Mike Vanderheide, who started six months ago with a mandate of reform processes and practices.
"The director Strategic Business Engagement is a new position reporting to the executive director Infrastructure and IT and has been created to lead a group brought together as part of a wider restructure of the IT function."
The spokesperson played down the links of the IT overhaul to the ombudsman's report, including the recommendations to establish and appropriately resource a central major projects management facility to oversee purchasing responsibilities allocated to BITS, procurement management division and other areas of Victoria Police.
The department addressed this through the establishment last year of a function focused on ICT related procurement reporting through to the Victoria Police chief financial officer, said the spokesperson.