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DIBP seeks supplier to manage onshore detention network’s ICT

by Sam Murphy •
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A significant ICT focus is included in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP’s) requirement for managed services, across its onshore detention network.  The network consists of 19 facilities which house 4,993 detainees.

DIBP has issued a Request for Tender (RFT) for the provision of Onshore Immigration Detention Services, split into three service categories:

  1. Detention Health Services;
  2. Facilities and Detention Services; and
  3. Business Services.

The Business Services category includes Information Technology (IT) requirements while Detention Health Services is also underpinned by broader ICT needs.  

DIBP (formerly the Department of Immigration and Citizenship) spent $63.7 million in administered expenses (ie Program expenses) and a further $28.3 million in Departmental expenses (ie Operational expenses) on its onshore detention network in 2012-13, according to its 2012-13 Annual Report.

DIBP’s total ICT contract value (TCV) is $171.8 million year-to-date, according to Intermedium’s database of AusTender published contracts, AnalyseIT.  This makes it sixth on Intermedium’s leader board of Federal Government departments, as measured by level of ICT contract value.

The RFT seeks a supplier (or suppliers) to manage the entire ICT environment for the onshore detention facilities. This includes integrating any new systems into existing Departmental systems, ensuring the security of detainee data and managing the hardware fleet.

The chosen supplier will have control over all IT Service delivery from procurement to deployment, maintenance and management.

End User Computing

The supplier will be required to deliver software patching, anti-virus software, hard disc encryption and password control to every device within the detention facilities used for accessing DIBP information. The solution must also be compatible with the Department’s Microsoft Office Suite.

The DIBP RFT also introduces the potential for the use of mobile devices to access Departmental systems. The chosen supplier will be required to “develop a mobile computing policy, detailing the protocols and safeguards that will ensure the protection of Detainee data from unauthorised disclosure or modification.”

Detention Health Services

All systems introduced to manage Health Services must be able to interface with the Department’s existing systems. According to the RFT, “IT underpins the successful delivery of health care to detainees.” The supplier will be required to “provide, install, manage and support IT Communication Systems” that:

  • Are capable of collecting, storing, downloading and reporting health information and health data to the Department;
  • Minimise multiple records for detainees; and
  • Are capable of responding flexibly to new and emerging technologies that assist in the delivery of health care.


IT System and data security is a fundamental necessity within detention facilities. The RFT states the supplier “must ensure its IT environment has the necessary IT security systems in place to ensure the continued protection of departmental and Detainee data from threats to confidentiality and integrity.”

In February 2014, the Department accidentally published personal details of 10,000 people within the immigration system. To prevent security breaches the supplier will be required to “limit access to the Department’s nominated IT System to authorised personnel in accordance with the Department’s IT security requirements and broader Commonwealth Guidelines.” Any computing device must have installed “technical controls to enforce password policies and data protection policies.”

Biometric Data

DIBP is now heavily reliant on the use of biometric data. In its 2012-13 Annual Report, the Department stated it intended to “enhance the department’s ability—through international and inter-jurisdictional agreements, biometric technology and tools—to acquire (offshore and onshore) and use identity information.”

The RFT indicates that the capture of biometric data will be fundamental to the management and identification of detainees. The chosen supplier will manage the capture of the data ensuring that detainees can be quickly identified via reference to existing data.

Automatic sharing of biometric data with Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and New Zealand is currently under development by DIBP.

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For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.

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  • Federal
  • Software
  • IT Services
  • Border Security
  • Biometric data
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • End User Computing
  • onshore detention network
  • Security