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Centralized vs. Decentralized –Revisiting the Concept for the National Fingerprint File. SEARCH Membership Meeting Washington, DC July 2005. Why Now?. Events leading to the re-examination of the NFF concept Goal of 100% of Texas Offenders Indexed in III Changes at the FBI

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Centralized vs. Decentralized –Revisiting the Concept for the National Fingerprint File


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    1. Centralized vs. Decentralized –Revisiting the Concept for the National Fingerprint File SEARCH Membership Meeting Washington, DC July 2005

    2. Why Now? Events leading to the re-examination of the NFF concept • Goal of 100% of Texas Offenders Indexed in III • Changes at the FBI • Proposed policy change in submission to the FBI • Examination of NFF statutory requirements

    3. Texas Submissions To FBI Pre – 1998 The Goal The Exception Result – Only 30% of Texas arrests submitted to FBI The Reality

    4. Texas Submissions To FBI Post – 1998 Livescan submission go directly to AFIS NIST/ EFTS Result –100% of Texas arrests submitted to FBI Hardcopy fingerprint cards are converted to NIST and forwarded to AFIS

    5. Filling the Pre – 1998 Gaps Pre-1998 arrest cards are scanned in NIST Type 4 format and indexed by SID and DOA Image data and arrest data are merged together to produce NIST / EFTS record Result –100% of Texas offenders eligible to be indexed in III Arrest data is extracted into NIST Type 2 record formatted and indexed by SID and DOA Texas CCH

    6. Does That Account For All Texas Arrest Data? No • Non-criterion Offenses • The FBI has traditionally accepted only “criterion” offenses. • Starting in May 2005, the FBI began retaining non-criteria offenses from some states.

    7. Non-Criterion Offenses

    8. Does That Account For All Texas Arrest Data? No • Non-criterion Offenses • The FBI has traditionally accepted only “criterion” offenses. • Starting in May 2005, the FBI began retaining non-criteria offenses from some states. • Arrests for which the original fingerprint card no longer exists • In the past, if DPS identified a fingerprint against an existing record, the subsequent arrest card would be microfilmed and then destroyed. • Subsequent re-arrest fingerprint cards were not available for backfile scanning. • Texas DPS proposal for submission of arrest data.

    9. Texas DPS proposal for submission of arrest data • Texas DPS is drafting an APB proposal to allow for the submission of arrest data to the FBI without an accompanying fingerprint card. The proposal would require that: • the subject of the arrest submission was biometrically identified by the state submitting the arrest • the record the subject was identified with has been identified at the FBI and contains an FNU.

    10. DPS Proposal SID – TX12345678 DOA – 01/01/1997 DOA – 01/01/1997 DOA – 02/01/1997 DOA – 03/01/1997 DOA – 04/01/1997 Fingerprint Image Retained on 1st Submission DOA – 01/01/1997 DOA – 02/01/1997 DOA – 03/01/1997 DOA – 04/01/1997 FBI – 1235X SID – TX12345678 DOA – 02/01/1997 DOA – 03/01/1997 DOA – 04/01/1997 $.A Message containing FBI # 1235X SID – TX12345678 DOA – 01/01/1997 Texas CCH

    11. What Does All This Have To Do With NFF? If the APB and FBI endorse this concept for the enhanced updating of III, that decision could also serve as a catalyst to re-examine the current decentralized NFF concept. This new update concept would support a centralized NFF concept that produces the same major benefit of the current decentralized NFF (enhanced access to CHRI), while allowing the criminal and non-criminal justices communities to realize the benefits of a centralized CHRI database.

    12. Advantages of a Centralized Database • Faster III returns - FBI will not have to wait on NFF states to supply records for responses to inquiries. • Greater Non-Criminal Justice Use - Non-CJ users like NICS will be able to have more information with which to make adjudication decisions. • Enhanced Homeland Security Use – A centralized file will allow for data mining that can be used in the war on terrorism. • Enhanced Quality Control – With a central repository, all fingerprints would be verified twice – once at the state level and once at the FBI. This double verification process will aid in lowering the number of miss identifications. • Enhanced Database Quality – IAFIS will have the opportunity to update the quality of the images it stores through an assessment of the images received from the states. Currently, for NFF states, images are only updated based upon the quality determinations made by a dissimilar state AFIS system.

    13. NFF Definition It is important to realize that the current version of NFF is just that - a version of an implementation of the National Fingerprint File. USC 42 and 28 CFR define NFF in the same manner: "National Fingerprint File" means a database of fingerprints, or other uniquely personal identifying information, relating to an arrested or charged individual maintained by the FBI to provide positive identification of record subjects indexed in the III System.

    14. Questions • Can NFF be a hybrid of decentralized and centralized databases? • Does a centralized NFF implementation fulfill Compact Council requirements for NFF participation? • Would this allow states to get rid of their state AFIS?