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Less than Due Process

Saturday, January 24, 2009 by Slaughter Development

Police in Queensland, Australia, are releasing some criminals on bail rather than holding them in custody. The new computer records system is so slow and convoluted, officers are even reluctant to make arrests for fear of having to use the application.

According to The Courier Mail, the $100 million system is supposed to replace 230 old software programs, many of which were incompatible. But is this new tool compatible with the idea of swift justice? The article quotes the police union vice president:

“There was an occasion where two people were arrested on multiple charges. It took six detectives more than six hours to enter the details into QPRIME,” he said. “It would have taken even longer to do the summary to go to court the next morning, so basically the suspects were released on bail, rather than kept in custody.”

It seems surreal that such a system could fail so tremendously, but The Methodology Blog has chronicled similar problems in large scale, criminal justice software applications several times before. Massive, system-wide organizational change is incredibly difficult. These efforts often create a productivity paradox like the one experienced in by Queensland police, where the system intended to save time actually requires more time.

Slaughter Development does not sell or build giant, one-size-fits-all software applications. Instead, we conduct Workplace Diagnostics to help companies identify ways to improve the flow of work. If you are already burdened by a slow, counterproductive new system, we offer Service Integration to help you capitalize on existing tools, processes and skills more effectively. Your challenges may not be a $100 million dollar foul up, but if you believe there is a better way, consider reaching out to Slaughter Development.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Process Abandonment, Wrongful Detention - Legal immigrants in Australia are supposed to receive letters from the government letting them know the status of their visa. For one unfortunate man however, the mail was never sent, leaving him wrongfully imprisoned for five years. Read on »
The Dying Process - The local marketing scene has been discussing the fate of printed handouts.  Last month, mediasauce predicted the death of the brochure. Firebelly Digital insists (strong language warning) that the brochure will never die. Advertising pro Matt Gonzales sees both sides. Read on »
Justice in Jamaica - When Horace Harding pled guilty to a serious traffic offense, he accepted his fate and served a 30-day sentence in prison. Unfortunately, the system designed to record his compliance with the sentence took several weeks to catch up. Harding was then picked up by the police, and because of the processing delay, could not prove he had already cleared the warrant. The slow pace of bureacracy sent Horace Harding to jail twice for only one crime. Read on »
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