Kommersant learned about the freezing of the project for the digitalization of Russian prisons

The digitization project of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) worth 22.5 billion rubles, under which it was planned to install video surveillance with a face recognition system in prisons, was frozen, Kommersant reported, citing a source. According to the publication, the money for the project was not allocated due to the change of the head of the department.

The Federal Penitentiary Service did not respond to the publication’s request. The Ministry of Digital Development reported that in 2021 they allocated 749.6 million rubles. to conduct a pilot project in 15 institutions of the service to launch software and hardware systems for the state information systems being created by the Federal Penitentiary Service. However, in November last year, the service returned the money due to the allegedly high risks of the projects.

The Federal Penitentiary Service was supposed to be engaged in digitalization by JSC OPK (a structure of Ruselectronics, which is part of Rostec). Roselectronics did not answer questions about the current state of the project. The company said that they are ready to take part in it “in the event of a customer’s need.”

According to the digitalization project, by 2023, 380 institutions of the Federal Penitentiary Service were to switch to electronic document management, create digital profiles of prisoners and launch electronic management systems. Technologies were planned to be combined into a single information system. However, anti-Russian sanctions may complicate this process, the publication noted.

The office of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko told the publication that the departments were instructed to change the plans for digital transformation, “based on the priority current tasks in the context of sanctions, and also to ensure the redistribution of funds in these areas.”

According to the source of the publication on the market, the authorities will not abandon their plans for digitalization, they will be sequestered by more than 30%, but the targets will not be reduced. Plans for digitalization also have a problem in personnel: several high-ranking officials have questions about the qualifications of the heads of digital transformation of departments.

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