EC wants pan-European agency to run security systems

The European Commission has proposed setting up an agency to manage the region's large IT systems containing passport, visa and fingerprint information.

The European Commission has proposed setting up an agency to manage the region's large IT systems containing passport, visa and fingerprint information.

These are the Schengen Information System (SISii) containing passport data, the visa information system (VIS) and Eurodac fingerprint comparison system.

The agency will cost an estimated €113m, but the EC said managing the three systems in one location will lower costs, increase efficiency and improve information sharing.

Annual connection costs are estimated at €16.5m, which will be paid out of the EU general budget.

The agency will be set up between 2010 and 2013 as an independent regulatory body responsible for keeping the IT systems under its charge running without interruption.

The agency will also be tasked with ensuring the security, data quality and data protection compliance of the systems.

The plan is to gradually extend the agency to include other systems to become a centre of excellence for security-related IT systems.

The EC said the agency could also be used to prepare, develop and manage future large-scale IT systems in the region.

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