All differences aside

If you think the FBI has a large fingerprintdatabase now, wait until Lockheed MartinCorp. completes work on a $1 billion contractthat would double the existing file of 46 millionfingerprint sets and include the newestbiometric-identification techniques.It's enough to make special agents Mulderand Scully think about plunging back into thebureau's X-files.Lockheed won the 10-yearcontract in February to designand build the FBI's Next GenerationIdentification system. NGI will update andexpand the bureau's Integrated AutomatedFingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), anadvanced database when it was created in1999.But initial work on NGI washalted when IBM Corp. filed aprotest with the Government AccountabilityOffice over the decision to award the contractto Lockheed Martin.Last month, shortly before GAO was scheduledto issue its ruling, IBM withdrew itsprotest, and Big Blue joined the LockheedMartin team to develop and run the NGImultimodal biometrics system, which will beused by state, local and federal law enforcementauthorities. Neither company was willingto offer details of the agreement."We don't talk about protest resolution,[but] we're delighted it was resolved," saidJudy Marks, president of Lockheed MartinTransportation and Security Solutions. "Therole they've been given is a great role for IBM.Most importantly, while we're pleased to havethem on the team, it did not take away fromany of the commitments that we have made tothe subcontractors and teammates who'vebeen with us for a couple of years."The brief stoppage will not delay the originaltarget completion date of 2017, she said."IBM and Lockheed Martin have a stronghistory of collaborating in the federal community,"Dave Amoriell, general manager at IBMGlobal Services Federal, said in a statement.There appear to be more protests these days,and the process to resolve them is expensiveand time-consuming, said Bob Dinkel, presidentand chief operating officer at FedResults,a government marketplace consulting firm. "Itmakes a lot of sense if it's only two firmsbutting heads to come to some kind of settlement,"he added. "It tends to be a win-win forall parties involved.""There are other cases that we've beeninvolved in that have resolved themselves inthe same way," said Bill Walsh, senior partnerat law firm Venable LLP. "The dollars at riskare enormous, and the GAO sustain rate is atan all-time high. Under those circumstances, asubcontract arrangement will put a smile onthe federal customer. In today's environment,these types of arrangements are encouraged."Walsh said he couldn't say whether resolvingcontract disputes by the parties involved isa trend in the federal marketplace. "It needs tobe watched, but it's something that is in voguetoday and may well turn into a trend."Revising and updating the work schedule toinclude the brief hiatus is the task at hand,said Barbara Humpton, NGI program directorat Lockheed Martin. "The most importantthing to do in project management is to maintaina very solid plan, and we and the FBI areupdating the baseline plan" created at the endof 2007.Lockheed gave its team members temporaryassignments during the protest period tokeep them engaged and ready to return quicklyto NGI. They've all been called back and areworking again on the NGI contract, Humptonsaid. "We reassembled the team, put themback into those key slots to help re-planthings, and we have them side by side nowwith their FBI counterparts."Upgrading the fingerprint files remains thefirst and most important part of the systembecause fingerprints remain a critical crimefightingand anti-terrorism tool. Fingerprintidentification "is what law enforcement uses.That will not change anytime soon," Markssaid. The fingerprint database is targeted to befully functioning by 2013.NGI will double the size of the FBI's IAFIS,which is housed in an underground facility inClarksburg, W.Va. The repository is the largestcollection of its kind in the world.The FBI amassed the collection through voluntarysubmissions of fingerprints and fromcriminal collections by state, local and federallaw enforcement agencies. Authorized officialscan scan IAFIS files for data by submitting a10-print fingerprint set. Electronic responsesare usually available within two hours for criminalcases and 24 hours for civil cases."IAFIS has been a fantastic tool in supportof criminal justice and the war on terror," saidThomas Bush, assistant director of the FBI'sCriminal Justice Information Services division."NGI will give us bigger, better, faster capabilitiesand lead us into the future."NGI has a design/build quality to it that isintended to accommodate upgrades andimprovements throughout the contract period.If some new biometrics technology becomesavailable during the ninth year of the contract, itwill be incorporated in the system, Marks said."We don't know ... where we'll be 10 yearsfrom now," she said. "That's the real visionarypart." She credited the FBI with setting thetone of the project by telling Lockheed Martin,"We know what we know, we know what wecan see in the near term, but we're going to figureout the long term together."The challenge is going to be identifying,evaluating and being able to implement newtechnologies and the various biometric modalitiesand using them effectively, Marks added."Does iris [scanning] help you more? Doesfacial recognition help you? Does palm [print]help?""The framework itself is designed with openstandards in mind," Humpton said, citingpotential biometric advances. "The concept isto build a framework that enables variousmodalities to plug and play for the ultimatebiometrics interoperability." NGI is beingdesigned with technical flexibility to accommodatefuture biometrics technologies thatcould be important aids to law enforcementefforts. "There's a lot of invention going on,"she said."Our challenge is to understand the state ofthe possible," Marks said. "Once it's possible tounderstand, can it be reduced to practice?"The FBI wants to take advantage of the besttechnologies as they emerge and not getlocked into particular products and services,Humpton said. "So what we're bringing forwardis a framework that is product-independent,vendor-independent."

Related Links

Final roster

CONTRACT: Next Generation Identification System.

AGENCY: FBI, Treasury Department.

POTENTIAL VALUE: $1 billion over 10 years.

PURPOSE: NGI
will update and expand the FBI's Clarksburg, W.Va.-based Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System to incorporate facial-recognition, iris-scanning and
palm-matching capabilities in addition to fingerprints.

PRIME CONTRACTOR: Lockheed Martin Corp.

TEAMMATES: Accenture LLP, BAE Systems Information Technology
Inc., Global Science and Technology Inc., IBM Corp., Innovative Management and Technology Services LLC, Platinum Solutions Inc., National Center for State Courts.






















































MOVING FORWARD























































MASSIVE SYSTEM





































































David Hubler (dhubler@1105govinfo.com) is associate
editor at Washington Technology.

NEXT STORY: DHS wants biometric helping hand

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