31 Emery, R 2009 Improving the integrity of exotic plant pest surveillance data with hand-held (PDA) computers <p><span lang="EN"> <p align="left">Australia remains committed to World Trade Organization agreements, Sanitary and Phytosanitary agreements, the <i>International Plant Protection Convention</i> and international sanitary and phytosanitary measures and recognises the need for quarantine plant pest surveillance data of the utmost integrity is essential to support area freedom negotiations.</p> <p align="left">With most of Australia&rsquo;s agriculture produce exported, securing and maintaining market access is critical as is the need to demonstrate freedom from certain plant and animal pests and diseases. Surveillance is an important tool for securing market access and accordingly exporting countries now need to provide accurate, credible evidence to confirm absence (i.e. known not to occur) for pest freedom status.</p> <p align="left">In the past, nearly all field collected surveillance information was recorded manually to paper reducing the rate of capture, integrity, conformity as well as security of the data. This Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity (CRCNPB) project focused on the development of pest surveillance data collection software and hardware using hand-held computers or PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). This approach provides chain of evidence control, increases the volume of data collected as well as its integrity through relational databases and seamless data transfer to corporate systems.</p> <p align="left">CRCNPB PDA software developed with Visual CE was successfully trialled during the 2007 post-border detection of Khapra beetle by providing evidence of complete eradication via 1,273 trap inspections. This achievement was supported by GPS-located traps, digital voice navigation itineraries, digital time and date stamps, field printed barcode labels, site imagery all in a single hand-held unit.</p> <p>New PDA hardware and software is under development by the CRCNPB for use in other pest surveillance activities. These include, hazard site pest surveillance, stored grain fumigation monitoring, grain insect resistance testing and fruit fly phenology studies.</p> </span></p>