Athena is an integrated, web-based information and communications technology solution designed to manage core policing business including crime recording, intelligence, investigation, custody and case preparation. It is a fully managed service, centrally hosted by Northgate Public Services (UK) Ltd.
In December 2011, via the Athena Management Organisation consortium, seven forces and the then local Police Authorities (superseded by Police and Crime Commissioners in 2012) awarded Northgate contracts – Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and Essex. In 2015, Warwickshire and West Mercia also contracted the solution.
Whilst similar, the contracts have different end dates and there is a strong desire to move forward as a consortium by extending for a further 5 years and having coterminous end dates to leverage the best commercial proposition possible in line with the strategic intent of convergence.
Athena provides a single, borderless system across the nine collaborative forces and migration to an alternative solution would come with major business and organisational change implications. Market assessment strongly suggests that the principal competitor product offers little, if any, benefits. Consortium forces have made significant investment in training, business processes and integration of Athena, and an extension will provide an opportunity to make the most of that investment.
The desire to extend is both commercial and operational – there is no compelling reason not to, and it supports wider alignment and convergence on three fronts: contract, software and future direction.
Detailed contract negotiations have concluded with the preferred outcome being agreed with the provider. The full details are Commercially Sensitive.
The Commissioner is recommended to approve the Athena contract changes and extension.
To approve the Athena contract changes and five-year extension.
Chief Finance Officer Comments: I am satisfied that the contract extension for Athena provides the best value for money option for Kent Police and enables the strategic intent for convergence and alignment with our partners.
Chief Executive Comments: Commissioner, as your representative on the Strategic Athena Management Board, this is the most cost effective and appropriate solution for the future system. There has been significant investment to date across all those forces involved. The replacement of the system would cause significant cost and disruption in terms of training and efficiency whilst being adopted by all staff concerned. This extension of contract will ensure we maximise value for money on the asset for the foreseeable future. I fully support the extension of contract as agreed by all Athena forces.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent comments: Enables continuity following significant work and development to roll the system out.
Business Coordination Board 16 March 2021 (Commercial in Confidence)
Police and Crime Plan
(please indicate which objectives decision/recommendation supports)
Supports delivery of the Commissioner’s priorities by ensuring Kent Police has an effective and efficient integrated system that is an ‘enabler’ in the fight against crime and supports officers and staff in delivering a 1st class service to the communities of Kent and Medway.
Has an Equality Impact Assessment been completed?
Yes ☐ No ☒ (If yes, please include within background documents)
Will the decision have a differential/adverse impact on any particular diversity strand? (e.g. age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion/belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity)
Yes ☐ No ☒
The decision is administrative in nature. Therefore, it does not have a differential/adverse impact on any particular strand of diversity.