Corrections database review due soon

'Vast majority' of assessment and sentencing plans have been produced

A formal review of the Corrections Department’s Integrated Offender Management System is close to completion and should be available late in October, the department says.

“As IOMS had an expected life of eight years [finishing in 2006], it is considered best practice to carry our a formal review of the system,” says Bob Calland, general manager corporate management. The review project began half-way through last year, to identify needs for operational systems support till 2012 and the capability of IOMS to support them.

IOMS has been the subject of subject of daily newspaper speculation that it is difficult to use, resulting in up to 80% of offenders on programmes they do not need.

“The figures quoted in the Herald article reflect that, at an early stage, the majority of offenders participating on programmes had been sentenced prior to the introduction of the IOMS-style assessment and sentence plan,” says Jared Mullen, general manager policy development. “This does not mean that all of these people were receiving inappropriate programmes.

“The vast majority of offenders who should have had an assessment and sentence plan, to guide the management of their sentence and provision of any appropriate programmes, have had an assessment and sentence plan.”

IOMS is a nationwide system to support the operational business processes for the management of offenders and their sentences. It has three main sections, covering prisons functionality, community probation functionality and psychological service functionality. The department shares information with the police and Ministry of Justice via electronic interfaces.

It was part of the department’s $30 million information technology strategy approved in the 1997 Budget. The cost of the original system was $13.86 million. $12 million has since been spent to update the system to meet legislative changes and to catch up on maintenance backlog, Calland says.

There was an early hiccup when Corrections selected EDS in 1997, in partnership with Epic Solutions of San Diego, to supply and maintain IOMS. EDS was responsible for project management but there were “some issues” with this and the contract was subsequent renegotiated in 1998. The department decided to take on the primary project management role itself, and other tasks were divided between Corrections and Epic. EDS was released from the contract.

In 2000, Gen-i won a contract for the ongoing development and application support for IOMS. The contract is for five years at a cost of $1 million a year.

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