TWO years after the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) ordered an investigation into the procurement of CCTV provision in Londonderry, the Sentinel can reveal Derry City Council is again inviting tenders for the city centre surveillance project.
Over a decade ago City Centre Initiative (CCI) was selected by Derry City Council to establish and maintain a local CCTV scheme to create a “safe and secure environment for all those who visit, live, work and do business in Londonderry.”
After much angst over the potential abuse of the system a Code of Practice was compiled in consultation with the wider Londonderry public enshrining the principles of Human Rights legislation and was formally adopted by Derry City Council in September 2001
Last July the Sentinel was the only news outlet to report how a review of a 2011 procurement process for CCTV provision in the city found the decision to award the contract to a local alarms firm was “highly inappropriate.”
A joint Derry City Council and PSNI ‘Review Panel’ had been established to look into the stalled tender process. It made the “highly inappropriate” finding and also recommended in Spring 2012 that a full review of the entire CCTV system in the city be carried out.
Derry City Council and the PSNI were then to decide if the CCTV contract should be re-tendered or not.
The Sentinel can now reveal that Derry City Council is tendering the contract for CCTV provision in the city once again.
According to the tender documents: “In December 2012, Derry City Council commissioned Analysys Mason to conduct a Review of CCTV Infrastructure and Monitoring.
“The report has been completed and there are a number of recommendations that the partners now wish to implement: replacement of older CCTV cameras (primarily in the city centre); installation of new cameras to widen current coverage area (primarily along the riverfront); put in place preventative and remedial maintenance programme; integration of the current diverse systems into a single integrated system controlled from one monitoring location; increase he monitoring to 24 hours seven days per week.”
Back on May 24, 2013, the Sentinel launched a Freedom of Information request with both the PSNI and Derry City Council asking for copies of “any reports commissioned by the PSNI - jointly or solely - into the City Centre Initiative CCTV operation in Derry over the past two years?”
The paper relaunched the FOI request this month but still hasn’t received the Analysys Mason report, which evidently exists.
Back in June 2011, the Sentinel was the only media outlet to report how Ulster Support Employment Limited was seeking guidance over the review and re-tender of Londonderry’s CCI monitoring operation, which it felt it was about to lose despite 10 years of delivery.
At a USEL board meeting in April 2011, it was noted: “The Company has received notification that the CCTV monitoring contract in L/derry may come to an end. ..
“The CEO is investigating whether the tendering process was within public procurement guidelines.”
In September 2011 the Sentinel then reported that the PSNI and Derry City Council were asked by the NIAO to investigate whether “a proper public procurement process” was followed when CCI tried to re-tender its CCTV contract.
The results of the review and the recommendation that an overview of the whole CCTV operation by carried out and a decision on whether or not to re-tender were also reported here.
To read the joint DCC and PSNI review in full click here.
The Sentinel is still awaiting a copy of the recent review into the overall system, which was evidently completed by Analysys Mason from December 2012 onwards.
Once the paper receives the report it will publish it in full.