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FCW : August 15, 2013
The Department of Homeland Security is about to embark on an ambitious project to add biometrics to its smart card identi cation system. Other government efforts have demonstrated that such projects can go horribly awry, but it also has the potential to profoundly change DHS for the better. The exact path the agency takes, analysts say, depends on how well it prepares itself and possibly on how well it incorporates some new technical guidance. In May, DHS issued a request for proposals to add facial, ngerprint and iris recognition capabilities to its ID system as part of a $102 million upgrade. The department is seeking a new contractor to take over the ID management project currently overseen by XTec and establish a new biometric- based card system that complies with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12). The contractor would replace 161,924 personal identity veri cation (PIV) cards by the end of 2013 and another 116,172 in 2014, DHS of - cials said. According to the department, the winning contractor would also install enrollment and issuance stations at as many as 300 DHS locations to manage at least 300,000 PIV cards. Those locations could include sites outside the United States. Accenture Federal Services, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, General Dynamics Information Technology, Northrop Grumman, Science Applications International Corp. and Unisys have all expressed interest in the project. Biometric challenges Many agencies are meeting HSPD-12 s requirement for secure access to their buildings and computer systems, but few have been adequately incorporating biometric capabilities. DHS project takes that bull by the horns, but not without risk. Heidi Shey, an analyst at Forrester Research who covers security and risk markets, said the relatively short timeline for completing such a large project could lead to big prob- lems if sound planning is not done upfront. For the agency to avoid trouble down the road, it should be working on --- or, better yet, completing --- programs that establish enrollment processes for employees, de ne what kind of information each employee needs embedded in his or her card, and create backup plans in case of failure, she added. DHS is hard at work on that kind of due diligence, said Jim Williams, senior vice president of business develop- ment at Daon. The software and professional services com- pany is helping India s government develop and manage a national biometric-based ID program. That project, which aims to issue identity cards to roughly 1.4 billion people, enrolls about 1 million people a day, taking ngerprint, iris and facial images from each. Those images are stored in a massive central database. Williams said that although DHS is doing a great job in setting up the procurement for its project, it faces some challenges, primarily related to ensuring that the ID card and management system comply with a 2011 Of ce of Nearly a decade after HSPD-12 was issued, the Department of Homeland Security is beginning to make real progress on linking ID cards to their holders BIOME T BY MARK ROCKWELL A TIPPING PO 16 August 15, 2013 FCW.COM
July 30, 2013
August 30, 2013