IBM tapped to provide NBC HSPD-12 services

With less than three weeks until the Oct. 27 deadline, IBM Corp. has been awarded the Interior Department's National Business Center's highly anticipated contract to provide Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 services.

Under HSPD-12, agencies must begin issuing Personal Identity Verification cards by Oct. 27.

The contract with IBM is for $41 million, lasts through 2011, and can support 400,000 cards or individual customers.

Donald Swain, NBC chief of staff, said he expects the HSPD-12 solution to be functional by Oct. 27, even under the tight timeframe. "There was a commitment in the contract that you would have to ramp up very quickly," Swain said.

IBM, which is partnering with Lockheed Martin, will provide technical support for enrolling and issuing PIV cards to agency employees and contractors.

NBC said its experience as a shared-services provider under the Human Resources Line of Business consolidation initiative makes it uniquely suited to provide HSPD-12 services. It will offer services to its existing HR customers and any other agency that signs up.

The General Services Administration is providing similar services, and the two agencies are in discussions about how they can consolidate their offerings. As of yet, no formal agreement has been reached.

At this point, NBC will provide HSPD-12 services for 16 agencies, including the Interior Department, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Selective Service Commission, the National Transportation Safety Review Board, the Federal Election Commission, and several small and micro agencies.

Under the deal, Swain estimated that the individual cards will cost $120.66, which includes issuance and one year of maintenance. As the number of customers increase, the card price drops, he said. For example, if NBC reaches 300,000 customers, the price will drop to $100.63.

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

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