The panel were asked a number of questions from individual delegates who were interested in learning more about the system and how it could work for them in their day to day roles.
A number of delegates posed the question about how E-CINS could be purchased and if it would need to be subjected to local authorities’ tendering processes. The question was answered by some existing users who had been through the procurement process to purchase E-CINS within their own organisations but as each organisation had adopted the system under different criteria the procurement options differed from organisation to organisation.
Rob Macleod, Category Lead for ICT Services at the Government Procurement Service (GPS) has since clarified the situation. The G-Cloud catalogue (aka Cloudstore) is an OJEU compliant framework established by GPS in Oct 2012. Any public sector customer (including local authorities & police forces) can buy from the catalogue without the need to undertake a separate OJEU tender. Customer guidance can be found on this link http://gcloud.civilservice.gov.uk/ the page also includes a link to Cloudstore.
Therefore, as Empowering-Communities is an authorised supplier through the Governments G-Cloud, there is no need to go through a procurement or tendering process for E-CINS.
Focusing resources where they’re needed
During the IOM Discussion Group the Staffs IOM Team were asked a number of times about how they were able to manage approximately 720 offenders with their current resources. Richard Nightingale explained that before E-CINS they were using Excel spreadsheets and were spending an inordinate amount of time on admin. E-CINS had enabled them to really pinpoint those people they wanted to work with as high risk, medium risk and low risk offenders and to focus their attention where it is needed. The improved information they were able to receive at a click of a button was enabling their Field Officers to take the lead but to simply direct tasks to other agencies who are part of the E-CINS system. The ability to ‘register an interest’ in a profile also meant that they did not need to keep constant check of whether something had changed on a person’s notes. The system would tell you if any other agency had uploaded or updated information on an individual of interest to you. Martin Steventon said “the work we do now with Dovegate and Stafford Prisons is providing us with far better information in order to risk assess individuals before they are released. We are provided with in-depth updates about how an offender is responding to support whilst in prison and so we are able to better adapt how we manage them on release. Where an offender has been compliant whilst in prison and responding well to measures aimed to help them we will literally meet them at the gate on release and deploy all the change tactics we have in order to assist them in their rehabilitation.”
Richard Nightingale was asked whether it was a time-consuming operation to upload all the profiles onto the system”no not at all, it literally takes 5 minutes to input a profile onto E-CINS, we uploaded all 720 offenders in 3 weeks relatively pain free. You don’t need to upload everything about an individual, just the information that is current and you can add more as you go along if you need to.”
Is E-CINS here to stay?
Gary addressed a point at the end of the day that perhaps was on many delegate’s minds. “But how can a little social enterprise from Lowestoft manage all of this, does it really have the capacity to cope?”
“Absolutely” said Gary. “Right from concept E-CINS was designed to be a national system. It has been built with that in mind and it is scalable up and down. We are currently working well below capacity but we have the processes and framework in place to allow E-CINS to grow, allowing the entire UK to manage their offenders, victims and the vulnerable in one place.”