The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) has appointed a new Chief Information Officer (CIO) in anticipation of its upcoming integration with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
Randall Brugeaud, the former Chief Technology Officer (CTO), has moved into the position of ACBPS CIO after the role was vacated by Rachel Noble.
According to the ACBPS’ organisational chart, Brugeaud’s new role as National Director of Technology and CIO will centralise accountability for IT policy and capabilities across ACBPS, including traditional ICT capabilities and broader operational technologies, such as CCTV, e-gates, biometrics, forensics, and officer-borne technologies. His previous position of CTO has been dissolved in the restructure.
Brugeaud will report to Chief Operating Officer (COO) Marion Grant, who heads the Border Management Division of ACBPS.
Noble has moved into the role of First Assistant Secretary and National Director of the Executive Division of ACBPS, where it is understood she will project manage the merger of the ACBPS and DIBP.
The consolidation of the two agencies is to be completed by July 2015.
The changes at the ACBPS are also in accordance with its 2013-18 Blueprint for Reform, which, among other things, advocated new management and supervisory structures to prevent and detect corruption in the agency.
Further clarification has emerged from DIBP that following the consolidation of ACBPS and DIBP, “the Australian Border Force, a single frontline operational border agency, will be established within the Department [of Immigration and Border Protection].”
The Australian Border Force will draw together the operational border, investigations, compliance, detention, and enforcement functions of the two agencies. Policy, regulatory, and corporate functions will combine and be handled by DIBP.
Among the IT projects Brugeaud will be responsible for is the creation of a new border clearance system, utilising in part eGate technology currently being trialled by the ACBPS.
The ACBPS released its border clearance RFT on 23 July for the “provision of project management/systems integration services together with software and hardware technology for the first stage of its Border Clearance System for travellers”.
As reported by Intermedium, pending the success of its trial run, the planned implementation of a new eGate technology at all eight Australian international airports will see border processing become automated as the current ACBPS agency sheds 600 jobs.
According to a Federal Senate Estimates hearing in November 2013, Customs will reduce its workforce of 5,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees by 12 per cent to 4,400 FTE by 2017-18.
The next generation eGate technology uses the latest passport validation, biometric algorithm face-matching, and gate technologies. If successful, the technology will allow almost all travellers to self-process their departure from Australia.