Unisys’ license plate-scanning award boosts border security

Five-year award improves on Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

Unisys Corp. will build an advanced identification system for people and vehicles entering and exiting the United States across the borders with Mexico and Canada.

The five-year Land Border Integration contract from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a unit within the Homeland Security Department, has a ceiling value of $350 million over five years and allows for additional scope to be added at the government’s discretion, according to a Unisys statement released today.

The new contract follows Unisys’ work on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative contract, awarded in 2008, the company said.

WHTI, which was implemented June 1, 2009, at all land and sea ports of entry, uses automated license plate reader technology to screen vehicles crossing the border, and radio frequency identification technology to confirm the citizenship and identity of travelers carrying WHTI-approved, RFID-enabled travel documents.

Capitalizing on the initial success of the WHTI implementation, CBP and Unisys are expanding the project using innovative technologies and processes that will provide further efficiencies at the land borders, the company said.

License plate readers are the core technology component of the “triangle strategy,” which capitalizes on WHTI investments in inbound processing, outbound enforcement operations and Border Patrol checkpoints to ensure that information is available as needed at each point in the process.

The new contract has one firm fixed-price base period worth approximately $29 million and four one-year options, each valued at approximately $25 million.

Unisys, of Blue Bell, Pa., ranks No. 38 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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