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Criminals to Pay… for New £25 Million Criminal Assets Database

The Home Office is replacing the 15-year-old IT system used to capture data on criminal assets by a wide range of agencies, saying it is “not conducive to modern expectations of electronic data capture and subsequent analytical filtering and manipulation”. 

The IT system and associated database, called the Joint Asset Recovery Database (JARD), is used by the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, HM Courts and Tribunals Service, Serious Fraud Office and Local Authorities.

Its replacement will be paid for from the £1.6 billion confiscated from criminals between April 2010 and March 2018 using the powers in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), the Home Office says. 

Under an estimated £25 million contract opportunity announced today via an initial market engagement, the Home Office is looking to assess “potential commercial off-the-shelf solution options” and costs.

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A formal call for competition will follow in February 2021. 

The contract will involve creating a new asset recovery IT system spanning case management, data warehousing, debt recovery management, financial monitoring and reconciliation, financial analytics and reporting and document management.

(“It is recognised that this breath of functionality may not exist with a single product”, the Home Office notes. “Potential suppliers are asked to provide details of which software package might be integrated to obtain the required solution”… )

Home Office and NCA to Replace JARD

The overhaul of this IT system, along with other national asset recovery resources, will be paid for in part by funds gained from reforming the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (ARIS), according to the Home Office’s Asset Recovery Action Plan

The plan states that the government is “reforming ARIS to make it more transparent and top slicing it to fund… the ACE Teams, the Joint Asset Recovery Database and a dedicated revisits team in CPS Proceeds of Crime”. 

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Once a better data quality has been achieved by a system overhaul, the data stored in the future asset recovery system will then be made available to front line officers, the plan goes on to clarify: “Better data quality will support increased activity to recover proceeds of crime by making JARD information available to front line officers, supporting the recovery of assets of those encountered during routine policing activity.

“The Proceeds of Crime Centre, together with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, is exploring the viability of a technical solution to enable data from JARD to be bulk loaded onto the Police National Computer, to ensure that outstanding confiscation orders are recorded routinely.”

These updates followed a data health check of the JARD database that took place in 2017 and which clearly found the database wanting. ..

A request for information pack must be completed and returned by 25 September 2020.

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