New Zealand Automated Border Control System

In 2006, New Zealand Customs Service began a procurement for a biometric enabled border control system. Dr. Campbell was the consultant who provided input on the biometric aspects of the procurement, including evaluating the technical merit of all biometric aspects of all submitted proposals and making recommendations on which were most compatible with the existing New Zealand border processes and systems. The procurement ended with the selection of a successful bidder in 2007, but system deployment was delayed. In 2009, a decision was made that compatibility with Australian border systems was the primary factor in any New Zealand automated border control system and so a new procurement was undertaken to create a New Zealand version of the SmartGate system. In this case, the technical solution was defined, but it was not clear how it would perform in the New Zealand environment. Dr. Campbell designed test plans to evaluate the proposed equipment in the Customs lab in Wellington and then to conduct trials in Auckland airport. These trials were also designed to determine how well the new technology would integrate with the existing New Zealand Customs biometric architecture and with their business processes at the border. Finally, the trials needed to determine how members of the travelling public would interact with the system so that public support for the system could be assessed and proper training materials could be developed for Customs Officers and for travellers. Dr Campbell designed the trial plan, the preliminary training materials for Customs Officers, questionnaires to be given to travellers using the system and supervised the initial weeks of the trial to ensure that all processes were being carried out correctly. After the trial proved to be a success, he architected new processes and IT system changes to improve human factors (travellers and Customs Officers) and to monitor biometric performance as the system was integrated into the New Zealand border control infrastructure and rolled out at various airports. To support this, he led a team which architected a unique performance tool (Biometric Performance Toolkit or BPT) which extracts necessary data from the system as it operates and calculates a complete set of biometric performance metrics for every gate and kiosk in deployed operations. The system then automatically generates a report in Microsoft Word which can be read and understood by managers and which makes them aware of all aspects of the operational performance of the system. This report can be generated whenever a manager requests it and allows issues of poor performance (in terms of false rejects or false accepts) to be understood and addressed as soon as they become a problem. By integrating this facility into the New Zealand Customs IT infrastructure, it provides a level of insight into the operational performance of their automated border control system that is deeper than that currently available to any other government in the world. It has also made testing of new algorithms and even of new technologies very simple, as the lab tests and pilots simply require connecting the new appliance to the existing test infrastructure and then operational reports are generated using the lab test or pilot data as if it were operational data. This has permitted New Zealand Customs to rapidly test and evaluate three different generations of the existing SmartGate software and, in 2013, to evaluate a new 3-D facial technology as a potential future replacement for the existing SmartGate.