news Commonwealth law enforcement agencies such as the Australian Federal Police and Crimtrac have won big in this year’s Federal Budget in terms of their IT infrastructure programs, with the Government greenlighting a series of major initiatives.
The Budget papers detail four separate major bodies of work which will be undertaken by the Australian Federal Police and Crimtrac in the near future, all relating to the development of foundational IT infrastructure.
The first program is listed as Phase Two of the AFP’s Data Centre Transition Project. Like many departments and agencies in Canberra, the AFP is consolidating and modernising its datacentre infrastructure, taking advantage of virtualisation technologies and seeking to improve both its data storage efficiency as well as its functionality and reliability.
The Budget papers detail the fact that the Government will provide $32.6 million over three years (including $12.4 million in capital funding over the next two years) for the second phase of this datacentre strategy.
“The second phase will complete the transition of the AFP’s datacentre activities to align with the whole of government Data Centre Policy,” the budget papers state.
Separately, the Government will provide the AFP with $15.4 million over four years (including $11.1 million in capital funding) for the first phase of what is described as the AFP’s new Unified Operational Communications System. The new system is slated to replace the AFP’s existing radio capabilities.
The CrimTrac intelligence and data matching agency will also receive enhanced funding.
The Budget papers note that an additional $28.9 million will be provided over three years for CrimTrac to establish a Biometrics Identification Services system. This will replace CrimTrack’s existing National Automated Fingerprint Identification System with a new platform which will be able to store additional types of biometric data (for example, iris scans).
The new system will cost $52 million in total.
CrimTrac also won $6.8 million in funding for a project to refresh its network infrastructure and replace “obsolete” hardware housed in datacentres belonging to its police agency partners.
Other law enforcement-related funding in the Budget included $2 million to continue the National Coronial Information System, which provides a single source of nationally consistent coronial data.
Of course Australia’s law enforcement community gets funding in the Budget for technology upgrades. When do they not?