Justice minister Michael Keenan has formally launched the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), an organisation born out of the fusion of the Australian Crime Commission and CrimTrac.
The government in November announced that state and territory attorneys-general and police ministers had given in-principle support at the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council to the merger of CrimTrac and the ACC
In May this year, the Australian Crime Commission Amendment (National Policing Information) Bill 2015, which created the ACIC, received royal assent.
“The merger will enrich the ACC's critical intelligence function with direct access to CrimTrac's national police information holdings and sophisticated information technology capabilities,” Keenan said introducing the bill into parliament in December.
“This will improve the quality, access and timeliness of the intelligence that the merged agency provides to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Improved intelligence will better equip these agencies to detect and disrupt significant threats, such as terrorism, international drug trafficking and cybercrime.”
The ACIC will see “CrimTrac IT specialists work side by side with the ACC's top intelligence analysts,” the minister said in a statement today.
The agency’s responsibilities include the pilot of the National Criminal Intelligence System (NCIS) and operating biometric matching services, including the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) and the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database (NCIDD).
“This new agency is critical to the future of Australia’s national security because it is vital our law enforcement and protection agencies have accurate information and intelligence to respond to immediate threats,” the minister's statement said.
“The ACIC will close information gaps between law enforcement agencies and link intelligence data to help identify links between organised crime and national security investigations, including foreign fighters, terrorists, extremists and their supporters, to provide a broader picture of imminent threats.”Read more: In brief: NEC Australia wins contract for CrimTrac biometrics system
The agency formally commenced operations at the beginning of July.