The Government has launched a $14.5 million Criminal Intelligence Fusion Centre, aiming to fight organised crime with an arsenal of analytical and data matching capabilities.
Housed within the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), the Canberra-based centre accommodates up to 33 workstations and is supported by the ACC ICT Branch.
It targets organised criminal activities such as child sex offences, drug and firearm markets, money laundering and complex technology-enabled crime including identity theft.
Investigators and analysts from a range of Government agencies will be co-located at the centre to assist with investigations.
These agencies include the Australian Federal Police, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, Customs and Border Protection and State and Territory law enforcement authorities.
"For operational reasons, we cannot provide specific details of the technological capabilities of the centre, but it will have a range of analytical and data matching capabilities," ACC executive director Jane Bailey told iTnews.
While she could not provide details of the volume and nature of data thatis to be shared between agencies, Bailey said the ACC would only share information with certain, pre-approved agencies.
"The ACC only shares information with other agencies where provisions exist under relevant legislation," she explained.
"The ACC operates under a strict privacy controls and legislative and governance framework, which includes oversight by the ACC Board, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity [ACLEI] and the Commonwealth Ombudsman."
According to Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor, who jointly launched the Fusion Centre, organised crime costs Australia an estimated $15 billion each year.