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South Australia Boosts Security with New IT System

South Australia IT System for Security

The South Australian Government is investing AU$ 15 million in a new IT system that will boost the services of the Department for Correctional Services (DCS).

According to a recent press release, the new computer system will improve the collection, sharing and storage of crucial details of offenders, which could play a large role in preventing further crimes and potential terrorist attacks.

Called iSAFE, the system will ensure that sensitive and important information related to offenders can be accessed across all relevant law enforcement agencies both throughout South Australia and across the country during unfolding operations.

It will be replacing the Department’s current Justice Information System (JIS), which is more than 30 years old.

Benefits of the System

  • Replacing the old with the new will help the Department in addressing the growing complexities of the sector.
  • Minister for Correctional Services Corey Wingard shared that the South Australian Government recognises that DCS collects and holds a lot of valuable information about offenders that could be critical intelligence for operations.
  • With iSAFE, valuable information will be accessible more easily to law enforcement agencies, which are charged with public safety.
  • The Minister explained that there had been a number of high-profile terrorism incidents in Australia in which the offenders were known to correctional services.
  • He cited examples of those known to the system, such as Man Monis and Yacqub Khayre. Man Monis carried out the deadly Lindt Café siege in Sydney in 2014.
  • Yacqub Khayre, on the other hand, murdered a receptionist and held a prostitute hostage in Melbourne in 2017.
  • Other benefits of iSAFE include the following:
  1. Removal of paper-based processes
  2. Improved cybersecurity
  3. Enhanced case management
  4. Better support for real-time access to information to ensure safer decision making

Background of the Initiative

An inquiry following the Lindt Café siege made several recommendations relating to information sharing and proposed, among other things, a new system to enable the speedy transfer of data from one agency to other relevant agencies that might assist in the response to an act of terrorism.

It was during a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2017 when they agreed that corrections agencies needed to provide a greater role in national intelligence data collection and provision.

At that meeting, all Australian states and territories committed to improving information and iSAFE is a big step towards South Australia fulfilling that commitment.

The development of an acquisition plan will begin in the coming weeks.

Current timelines have the Department going to market to select a supplier(s) in the second half of 2020. Delivery of stage 1 of iSAFE, meanwhile, is targeted for completion by the end of 2022.

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