Coast Guard schedules TWIC reader meeting

The Coast Guard will hold a public meeting on May 6 in the Washington area to discuss its proposed requirements for electronic readers that can scan information transmitted wirelessly by the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, the agency announced.

One of the proposals under consideration is to allow up to 14 workers with the credential at each port to have regular and recurring unescorted access to secure areas of the port, the Coast Guard said in a Federal Register notice April 9.

The Coast Guard also is considering a rule to divide port facilities and vessels into three risk categories, two of which would use the TWIC readers to read biometric information from the credential. The lowest-risk category port facilities would use the credential primarily as a visual identification badge.

Under the TWIC program, 1.2 million workers at port facilities throughout the country are required to display the TWIC for unescorted access to docks, shipping containers and other secure areas. Enforcement will begin April 15 for all ports, though the Coast Guard said it would allow interim security measures at several ports without full TWIC enforcement until May 13.

To get the credential, workers provide personal information and fingerprints for the identification card and are vetted by a security threat assessment by TSA. Once enrolled they must pick up and activate their TWIC cards and display them when entering the secure port areas.

The Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register on March 27.


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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