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Team to pinpoint border risk

03.32pm 05 December 2016 | News

New intelligence tools will help Customs catch more meth smugglers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) keep biosecurity pests offshore.

A team of data analysts from Customs, MPI, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (Immigration NZ) have formed a joint analytics team in the Auckland Customhouse to better inform risk targeting at the border.

The agencies will work together to gain new insights into border risk through the use of analytics software and data sharing.

Customs Group Manager Intelligence Investigations & Enforcement, Jamie Bamford, says establishing a joint team allows agencies to share the cost of specialist resources and leverage the risk and intelligence capability and tools of the three agencies.

“The risk and intelligence tools, developed by the Joint Border Management System programme (JBMS), are the backbone of the team, boosting existing risk assessment processes, and providing analytics capability on a par with our international border partners.”

Mr Bamford says millions of border transactions are interrogated to identify patterns in data that represent border risk.

“This information makes risk assessment of goods and travellers more accurate.”

MPI, Director Intelligence, Planning and Coordination, Geoff Gywn, says by developing our people, platform and processes together we will be successful in harnessing the power of data at the border.

“MPI and Customs have built predictive models that address risk particular to each organisation. MPI’s focus is the biosecurity risk of pest infestation in cut flowers and fresh produce, while Customs’ focus is air cargo data to identify methamphetamine smuggling.

Immigration New Zealand Assistant General Manager, Stephen Vaughan, says each agency will gain insights through data sharing and identifying opportunities to build data models that address common border risk.”

“Immigration NZ, Customs and MPI are currently developing an analytics pilot focused on passenger data which will enable both facilitation and targeted intervention.”