GPO issues solicitation for a smart card facility

The Government Printing Office is looking to establish a repository that will manufacture, personalize and issue Personal Identity Verification cards for smaller agencies that may have trouble meeting requirements under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12.

In a recent presolicitation notice, GPO said it will issue a solicitation by the end of June for a vendor that will own and operate such a facility, which can serve as an alternative to having agencies procure their own PIV cards.

"[T]he USGPO will provide a trusted, secure supply chain from procurement and maintenance of electronic components and software through manufacturing, personalization, issuance and management of federal smart-card-based identity documents for the enhancement of the overall security of government identification credentials," the presolicitation notice said.

The agency is already producing electronic passports for the State Department and said producing PIV cards is a natural next step.

"Giving that we are ramping up to produce e-passports, this makes sense for GPO as an agency to provide the cards as well," said Ben Brink, assistant public printer for security and intelligent documents.

Under HSPD-12, agencies must begin issuing PIV cards for new employees and contractors by Oct. 27.

In its notice, GPO said it plans to provide PIV cards as the primary sponsor of turnkey solutions for small agencies and act as a backup source for other agencies doing their own card production.

Also, GPO said it "will provide the ancillary support services for HSPD-12, including identification management systems, enrollment and issuance services, and card management services."

Rob Thormeyer is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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