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Auditing is the process an operating system uses to detect and record security-related events, such as an attempt to create, access, or delete objects such as files and directories. The records of such events are stored in a file known as a security log, whose contents are available only to those with the proper clearance. It involves records the sequence of activities that occur on any given file or body of content within a content management system. This sequence of events – an audit trail – can be used by content contributors, managers, and auditors alike to determine how and why content was changed In simple terms it means to go through the process of examining and verifying a company’s financial records and supporting documents. Both internal and external bodies are involved in the auditing process, they carry out the process annually to examine the forces budget and make sure that the money is being spend in the right places. They make sure that fraud does not occur.

Internal audit is provided by the County Council Internal Audit Unit and the Monitoring and Audit Committee are involved in budget auditing.I will be describing what a Management Information System (MIS) is and show how the Police Force could use this management tool. I will also explain how a public service practitioner can benefit from and make sensible use of MIS. A MIS is a computerised system which manages operations, equipment and personal. It helps managers plan and direct business and organizational operations. It provides managers with the tools for organizing, evaluating and efficiently running their departments. In order to provide past, present and prediction information, an MIS can include software that helps in decision making, data resources such as databases, the hardware resources of a system, decision support systems, people management and project management applications, and any computerized processes that enable the department to run efficiently. It is a organized assembly of resources and procedures required to collect, process, and distribute data for use in decision making.

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A current MIS system that the Metropolitan Police use is MetMIS. I have included information on this MIS and this can be read in Appendix 2.For the final task I will be evaluate the practical application of MIS in improving efficiency, or otherwise in the operational management in the Police Force. MIS can be very useful in the police force as it can improve communication, which leads to a much better service being provided. For example, by using radios this can improve the speed in which the police arrive on a crime scene. More people can be informed of the crime and the backup can be called upon quickly and easily. As a result of this less policeman are required to walk the streets as the response time to a call is quicker due to the use of police radios. However there have been recent complaints by the public that there is a lack of policemen on the streets compared to the past and as crime rates have increased in recent years the two have been linked. It is yet to be proved that the increasing crime rates is due to less policemen on the beat but the police strongly deny this.

For the MIS to be effective it needs to be accessible – for example, if there is a personnel database then people need to have access to the system as they may want to see their records that are stored on there. The information is for their use therefore they need to be able to access it. The MIS also needs to be compatible with another MIS. For example, if someone uses a radio it needs to be compatible with another for it to be efficient. An example of this is if a policeman wanted to radio another policeman on duty in the area for backup or assistance the radios would have to be compatible with each other for them to be able to communicate and backup to be requested.

The MIS also has to be understandable. By this I mean that everyone who is required to use the system is able of doing so and it is not so complicated that it cannot be understood. MIS also has to be relevant. It would be a waste of time effort and money installing a system which would fail to benefit. The Police have just released their new radio system, which they call “Airwave” and this system is far more beneficial and practical than their previous radios. The Airwave system cannot be hacked into by criminals wishing to hear police conversations over the radio and can also be used as a mobile phone or can be used to text on. Policemen can communicate over a much further distance However I would say that MIS does have its disadvantages. The first being that it can be very costly. If a whole line of computer systems had to be installed then this could be very costly as computer systems do not come cheaply. MIS can also be very time consuming training all the people required to use the MIS to be able to use it. Again, this can also be costly having to carry out all the extra training.

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