Homeland Security extends smart-card deal for 10 years

The Homeland Security Department has awarded a 10-year, $200 million follow-on contract to an existing five-year identification card deal.

Datatrac Information Services Inc. will continue to provide services to the department under the Integrated Card Production System contract.

The Richardson, Texas, company has produced several million permanent resident cards, border crossing cards and employment authorization documents for the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), the former Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Teaming with Information Spectrum Inc. of Annandale, Va., and SEI Technology Inc. of Harrisonburg, Va., Datatrac won the contract through a new blanket purchasing agreement.

The contract's base period is one year, with nine option years, said Dennis M. Priscandaro, program manager for Datatrac. Through the project, the trio of companies will create smart cards that can hold identity information, including biometric data, according to the company.

The BCIS contract preceded a directive this month from the Office of Management and Budget that asked agencies to avoid any electronic-authentication technology purchases while OMB sets policies for governmentwide e-authentication use.

"This contract was out on the street several weeks ago," said Sandra Schatz Landis, program chief at BCIS.

But the OMB policy could have consequences for future contract renewals. "I don't know if this would affect us down the road," Landis said. "We probably need to get clarification."

Even then, she said, the e-authentication policy might not matter because "this is production, not new technology."

Vandana Sinha writes for Government Computer News

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