Unisys inks EBIS deal with Australian Department of Home Affairs

19/03/18

The Australian Department of Home Affairs has signed a multi-year contract with Unisys Australia to design and implement a new Enterprise Biometric Identification Services (EBIS) system. The estimated value of the contract is up to AU$44 million (approximately US$35 million). EBIS replaces the previous biometrics matching system that was also provided and supported by Unisys for the last 12 years. The contract was awarded after a competitive tender. 

The new EBIS system will be used by the Department to match face images and fingerprints of people wishing to travel to Australia, including visa and citizenship applicants, against biometric watch lists to identify people of security, law enforcement or immigration interest, while simultaneously facilitating the processing of legitimate travellers. According to Unisys, EBIS is designed to support anticipated growth in visa applications, border clearance and applications for citizenship over the next 10 years.  

“In the 10 years between 2006-2016, the number of Australian border crossings increased from 21.7 million per year to 37.7 million – a growth of almost 74%. This places pressure on border clearance staff to verify the identity of travellers and confirm they are who they say they are more quickly and more accurately to prevent delays, avoid queues and improve the experience for travellers arriving in and departing from Australia. We have drawn on our wealth of knowledge built working with the Australian Government, and with other clients around the world, to design a solution that quickly flags people who require further investigation while allowing legitimate travellers to efficiently pass through border clearance,” says Tony Windever, vice president and managing director of Unisys Asia Pacific. 

EBIS will be based on the Unisys Stealth(identity) multi-factor identity management and authentication solution. Stealth(identity) supports face, finger, iris and voice recognition, and is designed for high-volume (more than 100,000 transactions daily) and large-scale (more than 100 million records) operations across multiple devices. EBIS will include analytics that will ingest data feeds from Stealth(identity) to support and run simulations. 

Mark Forman, global head of Public Sector business at Unisys, says: “The growth in the volume of travellers, as well as the increased risk of potential terrorist or fraudulent activity, means that effective border security is more important than ever before. We are delighted that the Australian Government has continued its trust in Unisys to help in enhancing the safety of its citizens.”

The core of the fingerprint and facial biometric matching solution will use biometric matching algorithms from IDEMIA (formerly OT Morpho) to match fingerprints and facial images.

“We are thrilled to provide the biometric engine that powers the EBIS solution, this is the continuation of years of IDEMIA’s engagement in the Australian Borders ecosystem,” says Xavier Assouad, vice president Australasia, IDEMIA Public Security and Citizen Identity. “The combined strengths of IDEMIA behind Unisys will provide the Department of Home Affairs with a flagship platform to secure the border now and into the future.”

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Unisys inks EBIS deal with Australian Department of Home Affairs
Unisys inks EBIS deal with Australian Department of Home Affairs

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