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Australian intelligence community seeks new biometric access control system


Australia National Intelligence Community (NIC) has issued a tender for a new common access card system, preferably featuring biometric identity verification, to control access to buildings of all 10 of the country’s security and intelligence agencies, which make up the group, ZDNet reports.

The prospective contractor will be encouraged to use biometrics as part of a two-factor authentication system, according to the tender document. The service provider will work with NIC agency security and IT security advisors on a detailed design for implementation at all NIC facilities, starting with Canberra facilities for the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The system will be connected through existing intelligence community infrastructure for encrypted credential information to be exchanged between agencies for building access. The system may be classified “secret.”

Cost estimates including reuse of existing infrastructure, refresh cycles and other offsets should be included in the system design. The contract is expected to run from September 30, 2019 to March 27, 2020, after which NIC Agencies will be responsible for their own premises’ implementations of One Pass with their vendor of choice. Submissions are due by August 30.

The Office of National Intelligence recently concluded that One Pass is feasible, ZDNet reports. AFP and ASIO have both recently taken steps to contract new digital services as they update their technology to support more advanced use of data.

Australia’s federal government has been moving steadily forward with digital identity plans, with Australia Post becoming accredited as a trusted identity services provider last week.

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