The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have taken another step towards connecting the nation’s law enforcement agencies with the $1.3 million purchase of an enterprise licence for e-forms software.

On Monday, Victoria based e-forms

vendor PureEdge Solution Inc. said the RCMP had chosen its PureEdge Internet Commerce System to create its new e-forms infrastructure.

Implementation has already begun on the infrastructure, which will be used by the RCMP’s Canada-wide force of 22,000 as well as law enforcement officials from municipal and provincial forces. Constable Rochelle Patenaude said the RCMP expects to have completed the infrastructure setup as well as a pair of pilot projects by the end of the year, at which point a wider rollout will commence.

Monday’s announcement comes on the heels of a January investment by the RCMP of $1 million into encryption software from Ottawa’s Entrust Inc. That Entrust agreement was designed to allow the RCMP to eschew secure fax and phone lines in favour of virtual private networks and secure email for its internal and external (outside police forces) communications. Both investments are part of the RCMP’s i-Strategy to improve communications and the sharing of information between the nation’s police forces, and are expected to extend to 75,000 officers.

The agreement with PureEdge will allow the RCMP to exchange law enforcement information within its divisions and with outside forces through e-forms, and to bundle documents and attachments together for use legal proceedings.

“”It’s easier to have a standardized form that everyone would use for reduction of duplication,”” Patenaude said.

The PureEdge e-forms are secure and XML-based, according to COO Brian Nutt, meaning they can be integrated with other applications, including Entrust’s security offerings.

“”The core of the value proposition is in the records themsleves,”” said Nutt. “”They’re not only XML and easily integrated. They’re created using a document-centric architecture.

“”We cater to both the regulatory folks and to the IT shops.””

PureEdge, which on Monday also announced an e-forms agreement with the United States Air Force, focuses on heavily regulated industries, including both law enforcement and financial services. Those may be very different verticals, Nutt said, but they are quite common from an e-forms perspective.

“”All of these industries are trying to improve their customer service. (The goal is) to move the info to the end constituents in a more timely manner without sacrificing the security side,”” Nutt said. “”You’re not going to be able to improve services to the public if the public doesn’t trust the services.””

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