The Malta Independent 12 August 2020, Wednesday

HP Wins $48.5 million contract with European Commision

Malta Independent Sunday, 8 May 2005, 00:00 Last update: about 16 years ago

HP announced that it has signed a $48.5 million contract with the European Commission in consortium with Steria to develop two important central information systems, the second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS II) and the Visa Information System (VIS).

The SIS is the largest border control and police information system in the world and the development of SIS II is an important precondition for the lifting of border controls between current members of the Schengen area and the 10 member States that acceded to the European Union in May 2004. The VIS will manage visa requests for entry to European countries of the Schengen area.

HP was selected in consortium with Steria and as two other European companies – Mummert in Germany and Primesphere in Luxembourg – to provide a high-quality technology model designed for the two information systems that offers a good value for taxpayers’ money.

In addition, benchmarking tests conducted by the European Commission showed that HP’s model remained fully operational in a disaster recovery situation where sites were nearly 500 miles apart. HP focused its approach on standardised platforms and optimised scalability, which are ideal when working with multiple countries.

Its replacement, SIS II, will provide information on wanted persons as well as stolen vehicles, ID documents and banknotes through a database accessed by national police authorities of all participating member States. Once it is fully functional in 2007, SIS II will be much more flexible than the current system and will also be able to store photographic images and fingerprints. In addition, the infrastructure of the new system will make it easier to adapt to future EU requirements.

VIS is a new centrally deployed, large-scale information system that will allow member State authorities to access all visa requests for entry to Schengen area countries. It is expected that there will be more than 20 million visa requests and more than 45 million requests to check the validity of issued visas made yearly.

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