TSA wants ideas for threat screening system

The Transportation Security Administration plans to seek proposals for technical assistance with the Transportation Threat Assessment and Credentialing Screening Gateway, a means of checking the backgrounds of travelers and transportation workers.

A TSA spokesman said the agency would handle the actual background checks, but that the contractor would help manage and maintain the gateway's data processing system. Hazardous-material truck drivers, registered travelers and workers with Transportation Worker Identification Credentials get background checks via the gateway.

The online screening system uses an Oracle 9i database management system running under Solaris as well as Java2 Enterprise Edition, Cisco routers and switches, according to procurement documents.

TSA likely will release a proposal request later this month, said Input Inc., a market research and consulting firm in Reston, Va. Input said it expects TSA to award the contract in May.

The system is set to operate at high volumes. For example, according to Input, it will process 380,000 notices of "no security threat" annually, as well as 80,000 initial notifications of security threat, 40,000 appeals, 50,000 waivers and 80,000 responses to appeal and waiver applicants.

TSA plans to require the contractor to provide employees with secret clearances.

Wilson P. Dizard III is a senior writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.



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