Punjab Forensic Science Agency to develop fingerprint database
Pakistan’s home department is investing Rs495 million (US$7.7 million) in developing an Automated Fingerprints Information System (AFIS) for the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) by June 2018, according to a report by Tribune.

Initially, 40 AFIS scanners will be deployed at selected prisons of Punjab to build a database of prison inmates and at PFSA satellite stations established at divisional headquarters. The system is upgradeable as needed.

A comparable database was previously implemented for the crime registration offices of the Punjab Police, which is used to identify suspects based on fingerprints acquired from the crime scene.

Punjab Police also previously purchased mega fingerprint matchers which it uses in search operations and checking at pickets.

The police developed the database in cooperation with Punjab Information and Technology Board (PITB) after collecting the accused person’s fingerprint documents in different cases.

PITB had helped courts in developing software based on the AFIS system to help acquire fingerprints data of bail-seekers and guarantors.

A senior officer said that due to a lack of coordination and nearsighted vision, similar/parallel databases were being developed using millions of taxpayer rupees by two different departments of the government.

The home department will hire technical consultants for pre-shipment and post-shipment inspection of the system in comparison to tender and manufacturer specifications.

They will also supervise installation, with the PFSA supervising and reviewing the project after its installation.

PFSA will also ensure the purchase of AFIS is made according to PPRA Rules 2014.

In a recent report, Biometric Update projected that the global law enforcement biometrics market (PDF) will grow to US$18 billion by 2020 from its 2015 value of US$7.5 billion.

Sources: Justin Lee