Clearly defining your workflow and specifying your system requirements will ensure you get the Automated Fingerprint Identification System your agency needs.
Whether upgrading an existing Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) or procuring a new system, law enforcement agencies all too often discover that the AFIS they thought they bought isn’t the one the vendor plans to deliver. This is often the result of misleading information provided in response to unrealistic or vague requirements.
To avoid such misunderstandings, vendors and customers need to establish a common understanding of AFIS requirements. By clearly defining your requirements up front you also “protest-proof” the RFP and subsequent purchase decision. Before issuing an RFP, thoroughly understand—and document—your business processes and essential requirements.
Know your Stakeholders
You need to specify a system with comprehensive AFIS capabilities. At the same time, your agency has numerous stakeholders in the procurement with competing priorities.
Financial managers need a system that delivers low cost of ownership over its total life. It must be the most cost-effective not just in year one, but for five to ten years. Proposed solutions should allow technology refresh at component or subsystem levels, providing incremental updates throughout the system’s life.
IT department requires the AFIS adhere to industry standards for databases, interfaces, and COTS hardware and software. The system needs an extensible architecture that fits into the agency’s overall IT environment.
Latent examiners require a highly accurate system that allows them to efficiently and collaboratively manage case work. They require a user-friendly interface with very high image resolution and powerful tools for enhancing poor quality latents, editing/viewing/marking minutiae, and documenting match decisions for court testimony. They need a vendor committed to interoperability and biometric standards developed by NIST, INCITS, and FBI.
Tenprint technicians require a highly accurate matching system with fast response times that allows quick, efficient management of a very large number of searches. They require an efficient user interface with powerful tools.
System Managers/Supervisors require easy management of user permissions, with definable roles and responsibilities. They need to see what work is performed for proper resource allocation during regular and peak workloads. They must be able to configure rules on a workflow (Type of Transaction) basis. Supervisors require management reports detailing work performed by their unit or individual users for date range or work type.
System Administrators require integrated tools to view the current system health (hardware and software), and alerts to potential problems. They require tools to manage the backup and restore process.