Australian National Audit Office slams biometric project
21 January 2019 16:25 GMT

The Australian National Audit Office has hit out at the management of a major biometric identification project by CrimTrac and, later the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

The ANAO said that while CrimTrac’s management of the BIS procurement process was largely effective, the subsequent administration of the BIS project by CrimTrac and ACIC was "deficient in almost every significant respect".

It noted in a report that the total expenditure on the project was $34 million AUD (US$24 million) but that "None of the project’s milestones or deliverables were met".

"ACIC did not effectively manage the BIS project with its approach characterised by: poor risk management; not following at any point the mandated process in the contract for assessing progress against milestones and linking their achievement to payments; reporting arrangements not driving action; non adherence to a detailed implementation plan; and inadequate financial management, including being unable to definitively advise how much they had spent on the project."

BIS was intended to replace the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) operated by CrimTrac, with the new system to include facial recognition capabilities.