Melbourne, Jan.22 : The Australian Federal Police has said that it is likely to spend 84 million dollars for an overhaul of its core policing system to be sent offshore.
An AFP spokeswoman was quoted by The Australian as saying that the application development work, which will touch databases containing highly sensitive operational information, could be sent to contractors located offshore provided they met the agencies' security requirements.
"It must be demonstrated that there is a benefit to the AFP in sending the work offshore and there are no sensitivity or security issues with that company accessing that database," the spokeswoman said.
The organisation would not allow any of its systems or data to be hosted offshore as part of the project, she said.
The AFP released a tender in December calling for software companies to join a panel of suppliers to replace its current Police Realtime Online Management Information System (PROMIS) with a new system codenamed Project Spectrum.
The tender documents reveal that the system will be replaced gradually over the next four years.
Last year, the Australian Taxation Office refused to allow work on a 724 million dollars overhaul of its tax processing systems to be taken out of Australia after its main technology supplier for the program Accenture proposed it send some of the development work offshore.
The Australian Customs Service also flirted with offshoring under a recent 70 million dollar a year IT outsourcing program.
Indian firm Hexaware was asked to bid for Customs' software development panel but did not make the final shortlist.
A spokesman for Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said the AFP was required to make the tender open to comply with trade agreements to which Australia is a signatory.
However, the Commonwealth procurement rules also allowed the agency to impose security rules on tender applicants, he said.
Tender applicants will have to ensure that their subcontractors and employees can meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Protective Security Manual, the Privacy Act and the AFP Act.
The AFP may also require contractors to undergo drug testing and other security clearance tests.
It has told bidders that it may need to "engage" their employees as AFP appointees in cases where they're required to access sensitive information or work on the agency's premises.
The AFP is scheduled to announce the successful bidders for the panel next month.