A tender for an upgraded Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) for the South African Police Service will be published and evaluated by the end of the 2011/12 financial year.
The ministry of police responded to an internal question last week, confirming once more that it has no back-up system for AFIS, which stores more than eight million fingerprint images of criminals.
“The AFIS disaster recovery forms part of the specifications of the new AFIS. Due to the exorbitant cost implications of the current AFIS, it was decided to publish a tender in order to test the market with an attempt to find a more economical AFIS solution.”
However, it was 0% complete in terms of publishing tenders for the procurement of the new system.
It now says the technical specification of the new AFIS has been completed and is being reviewed. Upon finalisation, the tender will be published and evaluated by the end of the financial year 2011/2012.
The ministry said the Criminal Record (CRIM) System contains the data of criminal history and wanted persons.
An offsite back-up is available for this and can be accessed in case of disaster. All criminal history/information can be retrieved and the CRIM System can once again be accessed after a disaster in order to continue with operations.
For AFIS, fingerprints are scanned, enhanced by fingerprint experts and searched against this AFIS database.
“These images are also stored on back-up tape at a remote site. In case of disaster, the fingerprint images are available and can be retrieved in order to set up a new AFIS. However, operational functions cannot continue as there is no disaster recovery available, ie, there is no additional hardware and software available to ensure the continuation of searches against the database.”
The internal question also queried when the SA Police Service (SAPS) stations will have e-docket capabilities.
In May, the State IT Agency, which was supposed to roll-out the system, submitted a report on the total cost of the roll-out of the police e-docket system to 363 police stations.
Additional costs for 2011 are R9.8 million, with R179.4 million already having been spent in 2010.
Committee members said the system was supposed to be rolled out a long time ago and highlighted that a lot of money has been spent on it.
For this reason, head of information and security management at SAPS Mzondeki Tshabalala said the project would go ahead with or without the agency.
The ministry of police now says the e-docket project is currently being handled as a project of government’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster, and will be rolled out by the cluster.