Make a date to get smart card

Air Force personnel nationwide soon will be able to go online to schedule an appointment to receive a Common Access Card (CAC) using a system developed by TimeTrade Systems Inc.

TimeTrade is providing its scheduling and resource management software as part of the Air Force's enterprisewide public-key infrastructure implementation.

Everyone working at an Air Force base must schedule an appointment to be issued a new CAC, which is a secure, multi-application smart card for physical identification and building and network access. TimeTrade's technology will be used for self-service scheduling of these appointments in real time via the Web, said Ken Coleman, co-founder and executive vice president of TimeTrade.

The system also will be used to determine the resources required at each step of the card-creation process, including how many staff members will be needed daily and "locating where the bottlenecks are and where the process is constrained," Coleman said.

Program administrators can use the system to monitor the project, report on key program metrics, and provide overall coordination, he said.

The software will be hosted at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, with the first deployment scheduled for next month at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. Other bases will be deployed during the next 18 months.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TimeTrade implementations usually cost between $50,000 and $500,000, and "this is a medium-size deal, but a very important foot in the door," Coleman said.

The Defense Department last month determined that it would not be able to meet its goal of having the CAC in the hands of all 3.5 million DOD personnel by October 2002, and instead pushed back the deadline one year.


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