The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has revealed that its recent deal with Fujitsu for the development of a new centralised passport issuing system will be worth $67.7 million over five years.
DFAT has appointed Fujitsu as Prime Systems Integrator for the project in what is the highest value ICT contract to be published by a Federal Government agency in the 2013 calendar year to date.
The agreement with Fujitsu is for the provision of Online Database Information Retrieval Systems, previously described by DFAT as the Australian Travel Document Issuance System. The new centralised system will replace the Department’s existing passport IT architecture as part of its Passport Redevelopment Program (PRP), for which the Department has been allocated $100.8 million over six years, including $48.4 million in capital funding.
The new system will be required to meet DFAT’s projected growth in travel document issue rates to 3.5 million per year, up from just over 1.2 million in 2011.
According to documents issued at the time of DFAT’s initial request for tenders in September 2011, Fujitsu will be responsible for the design, development, implementation and support of the new system.
Despite being titled a ‘Document Issuance System’, DFAT has indicated broader requirements that cover a whole host of Departmental functions, including workflow and data capture.
Required capabilities for the new system have been split into four components:
- eCapture - for data capturing purposes, with a public-facing web-based application for conducting interviews, capturing facial images and signatures, and extracting information from hardcopy documentation;
- eFlow – to replace the existing Delta workflow management system and manage the collection and assessment of data;
- eCase – to enhance investigation, analytical, intelligence and case management capability; and
- ePrint– to manage the personalisation of travel documentation through encoding Radio Frequency Identification chips and other high-volume personalisation hardware.
Other requirements include a graphic user interface, data storage, security and search functionality, and hardware provision.
To date, support functions for the various components of DFAT’s existing passport systems have been distributed across a number of suppliers. As the prime developer of the new system, it is likely that Fujitsu will take over support functions for systems that are being replaced and coordinate with firms that are supporting the systems to be integrated.
The eight DFAT systems to be replaced include:
- The Delta workflow system (currently supported by Alphawest), used to process passport applications, scan and capture forms and store data;
- The Content Management System, based on the Oracle Universal Content Manager;
- The TARDIS subsystem (supported by TARDIS) for emergency passport issuance;
- The Passport Online System;
- The Corvu Reporting System, for business intelligence and reporting functions; and
- The Muehlbauer Print subsystem (supported by Muehlbauer).
The Online Database Information Retrieval System will also require the integration of a number of systems, including:
- The Passport Issue and Control System (supported by CITEC), DFAT’s mainframe application for the administration, control and recording of Australian travel documents;
- The Facial Recognition system (supported by Cognitec); and
- The Public Key Infrastructure subsystem (supported by Aware Inc.), for the personalisation of Radio Frequency Identification chips (supported by SHARP Corporation).
The incoming system is required to service around 900 internal users and over 7,000 external users.
The Passport Replacement Project is being managed by DFAT’s Information Management and Technology division, which has end-to-end responsibility over the project including design authority, product evaluation and acceptance, and contractual management of all outsourced services.
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