Explanation on automated fingerprints identification system

December 06, 2020

Automated Fingerprints Identification Systems (AFIS) is being commonly used in the law enforcement agencies and, in particular, at a daily police work to identify the person. Police biometric business is largely based on enrolling fingerprints of suspects and criminals, which later become subject to biometric “identification”: a check of one set of fingerprints against all known fingerprint records and recovered crime scene marks, checks of fingerprints or palm prints from crime scenes against existing recovered marks and all known fingerprint/palm records.

Many countries installed their first versions of AFIS some decades ago, therefore, expansive development of information technology opens new perspectives for further enhancements of their AFIS or for totally new developments of the modern persons identification systems for biometric matching. As implementation of other information technology solution, the development, implementation, and maintenance of AFIS information system requires a lot of specific knowledge, experience, and sufficient financial investment.

The European Union institutions are constantly providing their financial and advisory support for the development of AFIS in Eastern European Partnership countries. As an example of such support is implementation of the modern AFIS in the Republic of Moldova few years ago. Now Moldovan police and other law enforcement agencies can benefit from the police managed AFIS data in their daily routine work.

Today law enforcement agencies in Ukraine operate AFIS as an out-dated tool that is no longer possible to maintain. Ukrainian law enforcement agencies as well as their partners in the European Union have recognized the crucial need and importance to urgently develop the new AFIS for the usage in respective agencies. For that the special support package under the PRAVO-Police project – Modernisation of biometric use within the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoIA) and central executive bodies was developed and presented to the National Police of Ukraine as the owner of criminal AFIS data and MoIA.

Experts from different European Union countries, in consultation with NPU and UNOPS, drafted the original Term of Reference (ToR) describing the business requirements of the Police related to biometrics. Current draft of ToR specifies the processing biometric verification/identification, enrolling biometric data, managing these data, and interfacing with the implemented common Biometric Matching System (BMS). The European Union Advisory Mission in Ukraine (EUAM) is aware that the AFIS project implementation in Ukrainian LEAs will start very soon, respective authorities will benefit from the newly installed system as it was realized in Moldova, and Ukrainian society will receive the highest quality service from the law enforcement agencies.