Davis launches U.S. Visit probe

Rep. Tom Davis

The Homeland Security Department's border modernization project is getting renewed congressional scrutiny just as the agency is seeking proposals for the massive overhaul.

Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, sent letters last month to Secretary of State Colin Powell and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge asking for detailed information about the project to build the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator System.

Beside specifics about the project's IT plans, Davis also wants to know about coordination between the departments of State and Homeland Security, and whether U.S. Visit could potentially hinder commerce and tourism.

Through the project, DHS wants a system that can gather entry and exit information about foreign visitors, monitor each visitor's status and check against the government's terrorist watch lists.

DHS released the request for proposals Dec. 1 for what could be a $10 billion project. Congress has allocated $330 million for the project in fiscal 2004. Likely bidders are Accenture Ltd., Computer Sciences Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. An award is expected in May.


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