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A new national criminal intelligence system has been launched in Australia after completing a two-year pilot of the nascent inter-jurisdictional platform. Now the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission is appealing to the federal government to fund the system.

The system will replace the current database (ACID), which has been used by federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies and other regulatory authorities to share and analyze criminal information and intelligence since it 1984.

While not a national case management system, something federal and state police unions have wanted for some time, the system (NCIS) will provide a national, unified view of criminal intelligence information to avoid agencies doubling up on investigations.

It was first called for by the Australian Crime Commission in 2014 because of ACID’s declining effectiveness. The agency received a $9.8 million funding from the government just over a year later for a pilot. ACIC has since trialed a pilot system with around 400 users from 20 federal, state, territory, and international law enforcement, law compliance and regulatory agencies, which involved testing technology that bridges the systems of various agencies.

An ACID spokesperson told the pilot had “delivered a concept national search capability”, giving agencies the ability to quickly search police data that was previously unshared. Upwards of 11,000 searches on more than 600 million records have so far been made on the concept system.

The pilot program also revealed that agencies would need to commit to broader business transformation to address non-technical issues and change information sharing arrangements to make full use of the national platform.

The agency has now finished piloting the NCIS and is looking to conduct connectivity trials with other jurisdictions while it appeals to the government for full program funding. “The ACIC is seeking funding for a full NCIS capability to provide a federated intelligence and information sharing platform for collaboration and intelligence sharing with partners,” the spokesperson said.

The final NCIS will consist of data analytics tools and a big data platform to allow for complex analytics work. It will also provide data mastering, system integration and real-time connectivity to allow partner agencies to share data across jurisdictions. The agency declined to provide detail of the specific technology components of the new system.