New Home Af­fairs sys­tem faster

Public Sector Manager - - In Other News -

The Depart­ment of Home Af­fairs be­lieves its new Au­to­mated Bio­met­ric Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem (ABIS) project will dras­ti­cally change the man­ner in which South Africans are iden­ti­fied.

“This mod­ern IT sys­tem will in­te­grate with other rel­e­vant sys­tems, in­side and out­side Home Af­fairs, to al­low for one holis­tic view of the sta­tus of the clients. It will serve as a sin­gle source for bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion of cit­i­zens and non-cit­i­zens across state in­sti­tu­tions and pri­vate sec­tor clients,” said Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba. He launched the sys­tem in Cape Town in May.

The ABIS project com­menced in Jan­uary 2016 with the aim of re­plac­ing the Home Af­fairs Na­tional Iden­tity Sys­tem (HANIS), which is man­u­ally op­er­ated and out­dated.

One of the ma­jor chal­lenges posed by HANIS was the im­mi­nent col­lapse of the over 20-year-old bio­met­rics data­base, which left the depart­ment with no choice but to con­duct a tech­nol­ogy up­grade, said the Min­is­ter.

“The ABIS project will be rolled-out in phases over a five-year pe­riod. Among oth­ers, im­ple­men­ta­tion will en­tail mi­gra­tion of the cur­rent HANIS data (fin­ger­prints and fa­cial recognition) to the new ABIS, with im­proved func­tion­al­ity, in­stal­la­tion and con­fig­u­ra­tion of ABIS in­fra­struc­ture and build­ing of sys­tem func­tion­al­i­ties,” said Min­is­ter Gi­gaba.

Ben­e­fits of the sys­tem in­clude faster turn-around times for those ap­ply­ing for ID doc­u­ments or pass­ports and re­duced cases of du­pli­cate iden­ti­ties.

Banks will be able to ver­ify client iden­ti­fi­ca­tion faster and the tourism sec­tor will also ben­e­fit from quicker re­sponse times at ports of en­try to cap­ture and ver­ify a trav­eller's iden­tity.

In terms of se­cu­rity, the South African Po­lice Ser­vice can search for sus­pects by match­ing la­tent prints against ABIS records.

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