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FCW : July 15, 2013
Almost a dozen years after the 2001 terrorist attacks spurred the federal government to create biometric iden- ti cation cards, frustrated lawmakers say the effort appears frozen. "We ve spent billions, and we have nothing to show for it," said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) at a June hearing. Mica, chair- man of the Oversight and Government Reform Com- mittee s Government Oper- ations Subcommittee, noted various examples of awed federal biometric ID efforts, including the Transporta- tion Worker Identi cation Credential and the Federal Aviation Administra- tion s new pilot s license, which does not include a photo of the licensee. Mica and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the subcommittee s ranking member, upbraided of cials from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, FAA, Customs and Border Protection, and the State Department for what the lawmakers said was an inability to develop secure, interoper- able identi cation cards as required under the 2004 Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12. Of cials said they have implemented effective pro- grams, though their efforts have sometimes been over- taken by advancing tech- nology. Although Mica and Connolly commended the developments, they ques- tioned whether the agen- cies were working together to make documents interoperable and noted the lack of advanced capabili- ties. The most pointed questioning, however, was reserved for Charles Romine, director of NIST s IT Lab. "When, when, when will we get a standard for iris recognition?" Mica asked Romine. Romine said the agency has resolved a number of important issues and planned to release some iris recognition standards after a July 9 workshop. --- Mark Rockwell Trending of the federal budget could be freed up through better use of big data, a MeriTalk survey says 14% 8 July 15, 2013 FCW.COM Congress demands progress on advanced ID cards CRITICAL READ WHAT: A new research paper on federal bid protests for the American Bar Association by Dan Gordon, former administrator of the Of ce of Federal Procurement Policy. WHY: Bid protests are not as common as believed, according to Gordon, who is now associate dean for government procurement law at George Washington University. He said the Government Accountability Of ce often counts contract protests twice or even three times by separately considering pre- and post-award protests, as well as supplemental lings. That in ated count can result in the perception that tens of thousands of protests are led each year, while Gordon asserts that the total is no more than a couple of thousand a year. He calculates that only 1.92 protests resulted from each $1 billion in federal procurement spending in 2006. In 2011, the number was a bit higher --- 2.74 per $1 billion. Additionally, using data from 200,000 Air Force contracts in 2008, Gordon concludes that only 0.5 percent of all government contracts are protested. VERBATIM: "Since the days when protest lings were tracked on 3 x 5 cards, the GAO has counted cases in a manner that can cause people to believe that protest numbers are higher than they actually are." FULL REPORT: papers.ssrn.com John Mica Remembering Ginny McCormick Virginia McCormick, a federal IT trailblazer who logged 46 years of public service before retiring from the General Services Administration in 1994, passed away in June. Shown at left with fellow IT pioneer Grace Hopper, McCormick created must-attend conferences and helped found ACT. Joanne Connelly, CEO of ConnellyWorks, said, "Ginny helped define the government/industry partnership as we know it today."
June 30, 2013
July 30, 2013