Customs to implement firearms asset tracking

Follows a 2008 audit report whch found a manual and disjointed approach to the management and coordination of weapons

Customs and Border Protection is to secure itself a new firearms asset tracking solution aimed at reducing the risk of illegal and improper use of firearms and other items of sensitive personal defensive equipment (PDE).

The search for an asset tracking system comes more than a year after a 2008 internal audit raised concerns around the manual and disjointed approach to the management and coordination of weapons and PDE items.

Additionally, in September 2008, Jacobs Australia conducted a risk review around the tasks and activities of the National Operational Training and Development Section highlighting the lack of a sophisticated system to manage and track restricted items of equipment.

Customs, in tender documents, said its firearms asset tracking project would address the management and maintenance of enforcement and investigations equipment, with real time tracking of both restricted and sensitive items of equipment including monitoring usage and maintenance requirements.

Currently Customs relies on triplicate paper work and the manual taking down of serial numbers, opening itself up to human error. Different parts of the organisation have developed their own preferred methods of documenting and tracking items, leading to inconsistencies and complexities in managing firearms.

The government agency said it expected a number of benefits from the implementation of the new system including the reduction in need and time taken to do stock takes of its firearms assets, the elimination of unnecessary and disjointed tasks, and a reduction in time to manage the asset process and lifecycle.

Qualitative benefits were expected to be a reduction in misappropriation or loss of operational firearms, improved oversight and governance, and a national capability to track enforcement and investigations equipment location, usage and maintenance requirements, stock take and history.

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