Audits in progress at July 2011
Management of Biometric Passports (ePassports)
Australia was one of the first countries to introduce the ‘ePassport’ in October 2005. The ePassport has an embedded microchip that stores the holder’s identity information, including a digitised photograph, for use with biometric facial recognition technology. In 2007–08 DFAT introduced an improved version of its facial recognition program to enhance its ability to confirm identity and detect fraud. In May 2009 it introduced the second generation ePassport—the N series—which is Australia’s most secure passport to date. DFAT issued a record 1.8 million passports in 2009–10.
The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of DFAT’s implementation of biometric technology to meet international requirements for enhanced passport security. The audit complements previous audits of DFAT’s Passport Services and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s management of the introduction of biometric technologies.
The audit report is expected to be tabled in the Winter 2012 Parliamentary Sittings.