Unisys wins $44M biometrics deal with Department of Home Affairs

Unisys wins $44M biometrics deal with Department of Home Affairs

Builds new biometrics matching system

IT services provider, Unisys Australia, has won a contract with Australia's Department of Home Affairs worth $44.2 million to design and implement a new enterprise biometric identification services (EBIS).

For the past 12 years, Unisys has provided and supported the current system being used by the Federal Government, according to the local arm of the US-headquartered IT services firm.

The new system will be used to match face images and fingerprints of people wishing to travel to Australia against biometric watch lists seeking to identify people of security, law enforcement or immigration interest.

According to the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Alex Hawke, the system will enable a more accurate and effective biometric analysis of 100 per cent of travelers. The EBIS will alert the Australian Borer Force if necessary.

“The EBIS system will significantly increase our biometric collection and storage capability, giving us an even stronger platform to identify and protect Australia from individuals who might wish to do us harm," Hawke said.

This will be made possible by consolidating biometrics collected through visa and detention programs with biometric data collected at the border through SmartGates.

Unisys said the new deal is a multi-year contract and that the EBIS is designed to support anticipated growth in visa applications, border clearance and applications for citizenship over the next 10 years.

“In the ten years 2006-2016, the number of Australian border crossings increased from 21.7 million per year to 37.7 million – a growth of almost 74 percent," Unisys Asia Pacific vice president and managing director, Tony Windever, said.

"This places pressure on border clearance staff to verify the identity of travellers and confirm they are who they say they are more quickly and more accurately to prevent delays, avoid queues and improve the experience for travellers arriving in and departing from Australia."

Unisys Stealth (identity), the company's multi-factor identity and management authentication solution, will be the base of the new EBIS.

Stealth(identity) supports face, finger, iris and voice recognition, and is designed for high-volume – more than 100,000 transactions daily – and large-scale – more than 100 million records –  operations across multiple devices.

EBIS will include analytics that will ingest data feeds from Stealth (identity) to support and run simulations, according to Unisys. 

Biometric matching algorithms from IDEMIA will be used for the fingerprint and facial biometric matching.

In October, Unisys won a three-year contract extension with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) worth $77.7 million. As part of the contract, Unisys was to provide managed service desk and end-user computing services for the department staff globally up to June 2021.

DIBP put a request for the provision of automated processing at Australian ports out to tender in early July.

The DIBP was looking for potential suppliers to provide and implement an automated processing solution to support the concept of “seamless traveller” movement through the Australian border protection process.

Unisys has also just been awarded another extension, this time with the Australian Department of Defence.

The $45.6 million contract will see Unisys continue its provision of IT support services to approximately 460 Department of Defence sites and military bases around the country.

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Tags unisysDepartment of Home Affairsbiometric matchingEBIS

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