A FORMER detective who played a key role in the failed £60m Police Scotland computer project now works in IT for the Scottish Government, the Sunday Herald has learned.

Alec Hippman, who was responsible for briefing MSPs about the troubled i6 scheme, landed a role in the administration in January after leaving the single force.

I6, which was intended to replace dozens of legacy force systems, should have been rolled out last year but was delayed after faults were found.

Loading article content

In February, the tensions between Police Scotland and contractor Accenture spilled out into the open at a meeting of the Holyrood Justice Committee.

Martin Leven, the force’s ICT director, said he had “doubts” about the “capability” of the firm to deliver i6, adding: “The contractor will need to prove to us, as part of these negotiations, that they are completely capable of delivering this because they have very clearly let us down.”

The Scottish Police Authority – the force’s oversight body – announced on July 1 that the contract had been axed.

A spokesman confirmed: “The Scottish Police Authority (SPA), Police Scotland and Accenture have mutually agreed to end their contract relating to the i6 project. The decision comes following a detailed review of the programme, led by the SPA, which considered alternative options and was supported by Accenture."

The SPA released its statement on the last day before the parliamentary summer recess, which gave MSPs no chance to scrutinise the decision at Holyrood.

However, the Sunday Herald can reveal that one of most senior figures behind the project has moved to the Scottish Government.

Hippman, a former chief superintendent until his retirement from the force last year, was the i6 “project manager”.

In an oral evidence session to MSPs, he explained the purpose of the new system: “It is basically an agile integration piece with any other IT product and is much slicker and more efficient.”

His social media profile does not mention i6 by name, but explains at length his involvement in the scheme.

“Delivered the outline business case to create a new business process model spanning 80% of policing including crime, criminal justice, custody, child protection, management of vulnerable and missing persons and management of evidence and property supported by a new national IT solution."

His Linkedin biography also makes clear he worked on the “procurement phase” and “full business case” of a major policing project.

Hippman retired from the force after a 30 year career and formed his own company, ADH Consultancy Services, at which he is the sole shareholder.

According to the Government switchboard, Hippman works in “systems integration” in the digital directorate.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “ADH Consultancy provides the Scottish Government with project management services within our digital directorate. In line with data protection legislation we do not release personal information relating to individuals working at the Scottish Government.”

Graeme Pearson, a former Labour MSP and senior police officer who was a critic of i6, said: “Police Scotland and the SPA reported a couple of years ago that i6 would be launched within months. Perhaps Mr Hippman could use his new job to brief his Minister on what went wrong and why the assurances given by both the Chief Constable and the Convenor of the SPA have come to nothing. The public deserves an explanation and police officers and staff need an effective IT support to enable them to do their work.”