L-1 wins State passport card work

L-1 Identity Solutions Inc. will serve as the prime contractor for the State Department's new passport card under a deal valued at $107 million over five years.

The contract previously had been awarded to General Dynamics Corp., but negotiations over terms reached an impasse last month, according to a company spokesman.

State is issuing the passport card as a low-cost alternative to a passport under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The new credential is intended for use by U.S. citizens who travel frequently across the borders.

The passport card will contain a radio frequency identification tag that can be scanned by a reader from up to 20 feet away to maximize convenience and fast processing. To protect privacy, the RFID tag will transmit only a reference number, which must be linked with a Homeland Security Department secure database to obtain personal information on the cardholder.

L-1's team includes Datacard Group, American Bank Note Company Inc., RCD Technology Corp., Identity StrongHold, Intermec Technologies Corp. and Transcore. L-1 is based in Stamford, Conn.

"This award contract demonstrates that L-1 has the operational strength, superior technology and unmatched scalability required to support projects of this magnitude as a prime contractor," Robert LaPenta, chairman of L-1, said in a statement.

In January, General Dynamics received a $99.3 million passport card contract from State. Also that month, Unisys Corp. received a $62 million contract from DHS' Customs and Border Protection agency to provide readers for the passport card. It was not immediately clear whether Unisys' contract remains in effect.

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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