NSW’s new state-wide system for managing the licensing of firearms has finally gone live after successive delays arising from the underpinning technology and issues sourcing talent pushed back delivery.
But the firearms licencing and lifecycle management system (FLIMS) could only be a short-term solution, with NSW Police already scoping a “complete rework” of the systems used by its Firearm Registry.
In answers to question on notice from recent budget estimates hearings, police minister David Elliot said the first two major digital forms on the Salesforce-based system were launched in October 2018.
This is despite police commissioner Mick Fuller indicating just a month earlier in September 2018 that FLIMS was incomplete due to the agency's inability to source “the right programmers”.
The new forms allow individuals to submit online applications or reapplications to Service NSW for both long arm or prohibited firearm and handgun permits, otherwise known as a Permit to Acquire.
These forms were followed by the introduction of two more in December 2018 covering new licence application for individuals and businesses or government.
“The launch of these online services reduces the time taken to post-paper forms and provides an effective and efficient way customers can deal with these matters,” Elliot said.
“The design and concept of this system has been subject to extensive consultation with stakeholders and customers.”
However, while the project is now considered “finalised”, Elliot said NSW Police would soon look to “complete[ly] rework of the digital systems and processes used at the registry”.
He said a firearms registry transformation board had been established to oversee the work.
“Digital technology contractors have already mapped the Registry’s processes and are currently developing a digital information technology solution that will improve outcomes for licence holders, gun owners, clubs and dealers,” he said.
Elliot also said NSW Police would continue to look to enhance FLIMS to “enhance the customer experience”.
“The NSW Police continues to be committed to enhancing the Firearms Registry’s IT infrastructure and service delivery offerings,” he said.
NSW Police has been trying to replace the primary database used by the force’s Firearm Registry to manage licencing since the system was found to be nearing end of life by Deloitte in 2013.
The integrated licencing system (ILS) was originally meant to be up and running in December 2017 and then mid-2018.
But delays stemming from the underpinning technology and the agency's inability to source talent for the build have pushed back delivery.
NSW Police has been contacted for comment.