Crime Commission to conduct virtual examinations

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Crime Commission to conduct virtual examinations

Invites tenders from video conferencing providers.

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) has revealed plans to establish a video conferencing system capable of facilitating and recording witness examinations.

Last Friday, it issued a request for tender that committed up to $2.2 million to a non-exclusive unified communications panel over three years, with two additional one-year extension options.

The panel would support a "continual refresh program" for its unified communications (UC) environment that included e-mail, instant messaging (IM), presence, voice and video conferencing.

With data centres in Sydney and Canberra and 600 staff on Citrix virtualisation infrastructure, the commission targeted serious and organised crime such as corruption, terrorism and illegal drug trade.

Tenderers were sought for conference bridge, control, recording and endpoint services, as well as end-user client integration, PABX and voice, handsets, voicemail, UC hardware and project services.

Services would comply with 'highly protected' Commonwealth security requirements at minimum.

In the short term, the commission would replace existing room-based video conferencing systems to make way for an "integrated and more comprehensive" environment with Microsoft UC products.

It also planned to establish multi-stream, online and offline conference recording facilities that could record the voices of examiners and counsel, and video and voice footage of witnesses.

As well as streaming and playback capabilities, the technology would need to support "bookmarking" of these recordings so title or chapter boundaries could be set in real time.

Recordings would then be transferred to the commission's information management system to be stored.

"The ACC desires a capability to conduct and record an ACC Examination involving the ACC's Unified Communications system," it wrote in tender documents.

Room-based video-conferencing end points were required to have a minimum video resolution of 720p at 30FPS, and be capable of high-definition audio.

The commission also intended to replace its Polycom MGC50 video conference bridge with another IP-only system that could bi-directionally bridge at least 15 high-definition video streams and 20 session initiated protocol (SIP) calls.

In the medium term, the commission said it would migrate its proprietary PABX and handset infrastructure to a standards-based IP telephony system and consider deploying telepresence systems.

"The ACC desires an integrated and inter-operable Unified Communications environment leveraging standards-based technologies, where appropriate, to achieve these outcomes," it wrote.

The request for tender closed at 2pm on 28 September.

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