GSA to enroll vendors for intelligent ID card work

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.?The General Services Administration will release a solicitation in about a month for systems integrators to prepare packaged goods and services to create a federal employee identification card using smart-card technology, David Temoshok, director of identity policy and management for GSA, said today at the Interagency Resources Management Conference.

The move comes under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, which directs the government to develop a standard to manage ID cards for federal employees and contractors.

A Federal Information Processing Standard 201standard has been developed for a biometric smart card, and vendors submitting products are undergoing testing and validation to prove they meet the standard. About 20 products related to the card require testing and validation.

Thirteen vendors, including most systems integrators, previously responded to a request for information stating that they could provide at least partial solutions to conform to the smart-card standards, according to Temoshok.

Under the upcoming solicitation, the integrators will submit their qualifications to provide products and services under HSPD-12. Some are likely to offer only enrollment and registration or card production and activation, while several have said they can offer all goods and services for a "soup to nuts" package, Temoshok said, adding that GSA is trying to make it easier for government agencies to purchase and deploy the cards.

One of GSA's goals is to promote interagency cooperation and dialogue, so that in cases in which it would be beneficial, federal agencies can work together to implement HSPD-12, Temoshok added. For example, if two agencies are housed in the same building, it might make sense to work jointly on a joint physical access identity management system under HSPD-12, he said.

"This is a people program that will help get agencies organized, so that a centralized acquisition and a common infrastructure can be provided in a way that makes sense," Temoshok said.

GSA also will spur along interagency activities by aggregating the orders for the smart cards, he said.

Once systems integrators have been deemed qualified, and once agencies begin submitting orders for products and services, which are both started to begin this summer, the GSA will attempt to aggregate the orders to obtain economies of scale, Temoshok said. The aggregation of orders is likely to occur even without major changes in IT system architectures, he said.

"We want competition for the orders," Temoshok said. "GSA will attempt to aggregate the orders. We want to further organize the buying market."

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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