The Serious Organised Crime Agency is ready to spend £300 million to £500 million overhauling its IT systems.

Under a scheme called the 2010 Programme, the organised crime fighting agency will remove a range of legacy systems and replace them with a “coherent, integrated” IT setup that will be more aligned with its business processes and strategy, it said.

Soca is looking for suppliers to work on the contract, and said there would also be the opportunity for a longer term partnership to support Soca’s key systems, according to a European Union prior information notice.

“The objective of the 2010 programme is to transform service provision within SOCA, both in terms of supporting information management processes with technology and supplementing SOCA’s people and skills,” Soca wrote.

“It will provide for the transformation of the legacy ICT systems inherited at SOCA’s launch into a coherent integrated information management and communications infrastructure designed to support SOCA's business and enable it to change and adapt as necessary to meet future challenges.”

Soca currently tackles large-scale online crime, among other forms of organised crime, after it absorbed the high-tech crime unit in 2006. But a specialist e-crime unit, long demanded by industry and the police, has now been awarded funding of £7.4 million and will begin operation in spring next year.

Nevertheless, this funding translates into an average of £2.5 million a year, a figure that has come under heavy criticism after a report stated it was far less than the reported annual party budget for the Ministry of Defence.

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