By Lara Schmaus, Mühlbauer ID Services.
As a part of its major project to modernize the country’s security infrastructure, the Government of the Republic of Fiji decided to evolve its next generation of passports to ePassports. The current passport is a machine-readable document with paper data page, without chip and without digital photo, signature andfingerprints – a fact which has increased concerns regarding the document’s security and integrity.
With the experience of numerous, successfully realized projectsin the past decades, Mühlbauer was selected to handle andimplement a customized, up-to-date, highly-secure solution for the personalization and issuance of state-of-the-art ePassports.
The Project Scope
The project comprises the specification, customization, delivery and installation of the necessary IT and security infrastructure(hard- and software) for the personalization (printing) and issuance of four types of ePassports (Ordinary ePassport, Official ePassport, Emergency ePassport & Diplomatic ePassport).
Furthermore, Mühlbauer provided services such as consulting, and comprehensive know-how transfer by conducting valuabletrainings for the local staff of the Fijian Department ofImmigration (DOI). The company provides production support,service and maintenance as well. The project’s key cornerstones were the effective change management and accompanying systemramp-up support. Furthermore, Mühlbauer integrated the existing infrastructure of the Republic of Fiji’s Border ManagementSystem (BMS) into the new ePassport system. This sophisticated consolidation of both systems generates excellent synergies andsubsequently increases the security in a very efficient manner.
Successful Implementation of Mühlbauer Systems
Mühlbauer delivered the first ePassports in a record time of only 12weeks upon design release. After the successful factory acceptance test (FAT) at the Mühlbauer headquarters in Germany at the end of July 2019, integration tests were conducted and the equipmentwas shipped to the Republic of Fiji, where the installation at the customer’s site took place and the solution was successfully putinto operation in the beginning of September 2019.
Secure Identity Documents for all Citizens
The new Fijian e-Passports contain a new range of sophisticated security features that will make it much more difficult for peopleto enter the country illegally, and thus establish a more secure border control process, which in turn brings greater integrity to the country’s immigration system. “The launch of new e-Passports will bring about benefits to all our citizens, both at home and those travelling abroad, as they will consolidate security requirements at our own borders and ease travel at ports of entry around the globe,” highlighted Hon. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while launching the new e-Passports in the Fijian capital Suva.
All in all, this marks an ideal starting point for the future issuanceof modern and secure ePassports. The republic of Fiji is taking thenext step to a sweeping digital government transformation thatwill touch all corners of Fijian society and secure the country’sborders.