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IT Budget & Chatbots - 541/22

Date Responded 20 April 2022

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. Total IT (information technology) budget for your organisation over the last three financial years (April to April) broken down by year

2. Does your organisation use chatbots?

3. How many customer interactions have your chatbots conducted over the last three financial years, broken down by year?

4. Are you team given training on the use of chatbots? If so, can you provide details?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with both the ICT and Finance Departments of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. The Force does not devolve budgets down to departmental level. However the budget information separately identifiable with IT is as follows:

The Information Technology Revenue budget for third party spend is:
• 2019/20 - £10,008,642
• 2020/21 - £11,504,247
• 2021/22 - £12,908,722

As the Information Technology Capital budget is already accessible by other means, I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You should therefore consider this a refusal for this part of your request.

I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.

Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means

Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.

The Information Technology Capital budget is published on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website – it is therefore freely available and Section 21 is appropriate. In order to assist we have provided the link to the information below:

2. No.

3. N/A.

4. N/A.

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