AFP wants to consolidate its multiple tracking applications onto a universal platform

The AFP said the current tracking IT applications being used by the agency can only support 3G devices.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is looking to consolidate its multiple tracking IT applications into a single management solution, which would act as a universal tracking platform (UTP) for the agency as some systems reach end-of-life.

Some of the tracking activities that the AFP carry out using these platforms include determining or monitoring the location of a person who they identify as a "target", and determining or monitoring the location of friendly forces including AFP personnel, partner agencies, and the assets they control and protect.

In a request for tender (RFT), the AFP said the single management solution would replace the multiple applications the agency uses, including commercial-off-the-shelf and in-house development systems, which currently are only able to support devices that connect to the diminishing 3G network.

"The AFP does not currently have a consolidated UTP but manages the command and control of various tracking devices using specific software associated with the device type," it said.

"The AFP's planned approach allows for a consolidation of the command and control of various vendor devices into a central platform allowing easy management of the various devices while also allowing users the ability to visualise information form the devices on the UI (user interface)."

Additionally, the current systems operate in silos and cannot connect to its common visualisation interface, AFP said.

"This reduces the ability to share tracking information to operational members such as investigators. The AFP's technical support staff are also unable to provide enterprise-level support to tracking systems that are hosted on standalone servers and laptops," it said.

As part of the overhaul, the AFP said the new solution would need to be able to support 5G capable devices; display tracking data from both tracking devices and sources of location data in real-time on the desktop and mobile; and allow authorised users, including investigators, surveillance teams, and technical administrators, to view and manage historical data for "evidentiary purposes".

The solution should also include a mobile application that can be installed on an AFP mobile phones via the AFP Citrix Endpoint mobile device management platform, AFP added.

It is also expecting the new platform to be designed so it can be used as a "common ingestion pipeline" for tracking data integration into AFP's future law enforcement monitoring facility (NG-LEMF). The facility will be used to "facilitate viewing tracking data from the devices on a consolidated platform regardless of device type", the AFP said.

Additionally, the new solution, AFP added, would need to help consolidate command and control functionality for multiple tracking devices, including dedicated tracking devices and tracking components of other devices, such as IoT devices like audio, cameras, and smartphones.

The AFP expects the new platform to be up and running by 30 June 2022. The initial contract period will be for three years, with the option to extend the contract for up to two further periods of three years each.

Submissions for the RFT are open until 25 August 2021.

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