Up to 400 new ePassport document readers will be rolled out across Australia’s airports as part of an Australian Customs and Border Protection Service IT upgrade.
The primary border protection agency will replace the existing document readers at all international airports to upgrade its Fraudulent Travel Document Detection System, which processes over 25 million passengers and 1 million aircrew yearly.
In tender documents, the Customs and Border Protection Service said it was looking for both hardware and software solutions along with transitional support.
The ePassport project was first kicked off in 2005 by then-Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and was intended to drag passport control and border processing into the 21st century while securing the identity of millions of Australian citizens.
Since the launch there have been several pilots and other follow up announcements on the use of biometrics in Australia’s entry and exit points. This includes the extension of a deal between outsourcer Unisys and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for fingerprint and facial recognition solutions as part of DIAC’s Biometrics for Border Control Program in October.
The Customs and Border Protection Service is requiring its new ePassport readers to among other things be able to:
- Log and read all required information
- transfer data in real time
- provide up time of at least 99.986 per cent
- include a software development kit (SDK) with support for Java version 1.6 (1.4 and 1.5 are also acceptable)
- operate within a wide area network (WAN) with a bandwidth of 256kbs
- offer compatibility with the Windows operating system environment, including Windows 7
- encrypt data during transfer
The tender closes on February 23 with work expected to commence on July 21.