Fujitsu wins $100M Aussie passport overhaul

The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade has announced Fujitsu Australia as the winner of a $100.8 million tender to completely overhaul the systems it employs to issue Australian passports. The process is expected to take five years.

It has confirmed the "solution will retain the capacity to capture passport photos from hardcopy images but will also provide the capability to capture the applicant’s face and signature image during the interview."

So presumably Australian Post Offices where applications must be submitted will be kitted out with cameras and electronic signature pads.

The present Passport Application platform was implemented in 1999 using Microsystems Technology’s OCR for Forms, as well as Optika’s eMedia for imaging and workflow.  (Microsystems Technology is now AnyDoc Software, recently purchased by Hyland Software. OCR for Forms is now known as OCR for AnyDoc)

Fujitsu will be implementing  a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution to manage workflow. This will be hosted internally at DFAT.

It will also deploy a new content management system to manage passport photos.

DFAT would not provide further information on the OCR/IR workflow to be employed, although it will retain the need to scan and extract information from hardcopy application documentation. It says improvements to the online application process will be a major component of the new passport system.

Tuan Dao, Chief Information Officer, DFAT, said: “DFAT is committed to the continuous improvement of our processes and services. The Program will deliver a contemporary passport system for Australia that will be more secure, efficient and responsive.”

Fujitsu Australia said in a statement that it "will introduce a number of new services and streamline passport application processes using Microsoft CRM workflows for bulk scanning, case management, fraud control, workflow and passport printing solutions. The value for both DFAT staff and the Australian public in implementing a Microsoft enterprise solution is the universal familiarity with its interface and functionality."