Panama chooses L-1 for ID upgrade

L-1 Identity Solutions Inc. has won a $3.7 million contract from Panama's election authorities to upgrade the country's national identification system, which is also used for voter registration.

Under terms of the contract, L-1 of Stamford, Conn., will deliver a complete multi-biometric solution that includes new enrollment devices, an upgrade of the biometric national registry and integration services.

The new system also includes L-1's Single Fingerprint Readers, its search engine for face and fingerprint image retrieval and its BioTouch 500 and BioLogon software that enable officials to authenticate documentation.

The election tribunal currently operates a two-finger database of almost 2 million records, which is used to ensure there is no duplication in the system when individuals apply for a new ID card or renew an existing one.

The database is expected to grow about 20 percent when Panama's National Assembly enacts proposed legislation that would require all minors ages 12-17 to obtain a juvenile ID card with biometric data.

Installation is scheduled to begin this month and extend through July. The new system is expected to be fully functional in time for Panama's presidential elections in 2009.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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