07 June 2010

Immigration New Zealand given green light for $60m system overhaul

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Immigration New Zealand will see a major overhaul of its old computer systems that expected to cost more than $60 million.

The Immigration New Zealand 16-year-old application management system (AMS) has significant problems, but the upgrade appeared uncertain due to no funding being allocated in this year’s budget.

The New Zealand Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman told a select committee that it would be paid for with contingency funding and from the agency's existing baselines.

The replacement system is expected to let New Zealand immigration officers capture and store biometric information on migrants, allow for consistent, centralised decision-making and to allow migrants to apply for a New Zealand Visa and track their applications online.

"One of the issues about quality in immigration is that there is a huge degree of discretion at the front line," Dr Coleman said.

The system upgrade is expected to go to tender in September and be ready in February 2011 for a final investment decision.

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