Forum's new unit to promote tech to all levels of government

The Smart Card Forum a prominent U.S. smart card technology trade group is forming a unit to promote the technology to federal state and local agencies.

Michael Smith general manager for operations with Schlumberger Danyl Moorestown N.J. and a Smart Card Forum board member said the unit will provide vendors and users with the opportunity to discuss smart card technology and its applications.

"What has happened in the market is a tremendous increase in the seriousness of government people to implement smart card projects over the next two to four years " Smith said including applications such as electronic benefits transfer digital cash drivers' licenses and health care delivery.

"There is a great deal of redundancy in the learning of people trying to understand what is happening with this technology " Smith added. "This represents a more concerted effort on our part to recognize the unique needs of government constituents."

Smith said he expects membership in the unit to be equally divided among federal state and local agencies. "There might be a slight bias toward the state level because it seems like there are more state projects at this point."

An organizational meeting of the government unit is scheduled for Sept. 4 in Washington D.C. In addition to presentations and discussions about government technology requirements attendees will discuss how to structure the group. Members will also select a chairman for the group Smith said.

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