The big tech names getting into Australia’s border protection game
- 19 July, 2017 16:11
Datacom, IBM, Telstra, Hewlett-Packard Australia (HPE) and Fujitsu are among the tech players likely to pitch for the Federal Government’s multimillion-dollar "automated processing at Australian ports" project.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) put a request for the provision of automated processing at Australian ports out to tender in early July.
This followed the release of a tender in December last year for the sourcing of a related project, for an automated border control solution at Australian airports, to replace the current arrival SmartGates system.
The projects are part of the Government’s so-called “Seamless Traveller” initiative. Revealed in 2015, the Seamless Traveller initiative was slated to receive $93.7 million in funding over the subsequent five years for the rollout of next generation automated biometric processing at major air and sea ports.
Now, the DIBP is 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.
There are three components to the project. Solution one involves Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) Replacement, and sees the replacement of the physical IPC with a solution that collects answers to IPC questions and passes them to DIBP systems.
The second solution, Automated Border Control (ABC), sees the supply, implementation and maintenance of a replacement Australian Border Control solution that is aimed at eliminating the need for physical tickets.
Solution three is the so-called Exit Marshal Point (EMP), which is aimed at removing the need for a manual triage process at the Exit Marshal Point and integrating with DIBP systems to remove reliance on the IPC card or tickets being used as a message stick.
The first and third solution services include the provision of infrastructure, including hardware and software, installation into the DIBP lab environment in Canberra, rollout to international airports and seaports within Australia, and ongoing maintenance and support services.
The Government held an industry briefing with potential suppliers for the project on 10 July.
Among the tech players that had representatives present at the briefing, according to tender documents, were Biometix, Converga, Indra Australia, Next Security and Vision Box Australia, in addition to Datacom, IBM, Telstra, HPE and Fujitsu.
It is understood that other suppliers were present at the briefing, but not all of them allowed their identity to be shared publicly.
The DIBP used the industry briefing with potential suppliers on 10 July to shed more light on the project.
All the automated border control solutions, whether for arrivals or departures, will be driven by the Pega-based Traveller Processing Centre, which was built by the DIBP, and which will be deployed for production trials in August.
Solutions the Department sources from the more recent request for tender will provide to the backend systems and then to the Traveller Processing Centre, to facilitate clearance decisions.
The Department will also include mobility facilities. Namely, it will employ Apple’s iOS platform and MobileIron for device management, and as a framework for the deployment of Department apps. It will also use these platforms to provide access to the Traveller Processing Centre and other data via the Pega system.
While the procurement process still has some way to go before a supplier – or suppliers – are selected to carry out the latest package of work, it flagged that a decision would soon be made on the winner (or winners) of the earlier tender for the provision of automated processing at Australian airports, released last year.