Stanley to manage passport services for State Department

"Have Stanley, will travel," could become the motto of Americans who plan to journey abroad next year.

Stanley Inc. of Arlington, Va., won a 10-year, $164 million contract to deliver passport-book personalization services and facilities for the State Department.

The company will direct facility operations at up to two locations and oversee printing, quality control and mailing of U.S. passports and other travel documents.

The first facility is in Hot Springs, Ark., and a second may be opened later in Tucson, Ariz., if demand for passports continues to increase, the company said.

Stanley has started construction of the secure Book Personalization Facility in Hot Springs and plans to hire more than 150 full-time and part-time workers over the next 12 to 18 months. The company expects to start production in spring 2007.

Stanley provides professional services, passport application processing services, technology and logistics support to the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs/Passport Services Directorate. Since it worked with the State Department to establish the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, N.H., in 1992, the company has expanded its services to support operations at 17 locations nationwide.

The new facilities that Stanley will run increase the State Department's production capacity to meet rising demand for U.S. passports. In the past year, the agency has processed more than 12 million passports.

The contract comes a few months before U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda are required to present valid U.S. passports or other acceptable government-issued documents to re-enter the country. Other documents include a wallet-size passport card, which uses radio frequency identification technology to link the card to a U.S. government database with biographical data and a photograph of the card holder. This ID is for those who cross the border frequently.

U.S. travelers to and from Canada, Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean and Bermuda can enter the United States with a valid driver's license and birth certificate.

The new passport rules for land and sea travel could go into effect any time from Jan. 1, 2008 to June 1, 2009.

Stanley, which has about 2,300 employees at more than 100 locations worldwide, ranks No. 58 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of the largest federal IT contractors.

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