DOT seeks smart card tech

The Transportation Department released a broad agency announcement June 20 soliciting information on technologies, such as biometrics, that could enhance the department's smart card program in the future.

DOT is in the first phase of its Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) system.

"The functional objective of the TWIC is to provide one standardized, common credential, supported by a single integrated and secure network of databases, to manage transportation worker access into secure transportation areas and operations," according to the announcement.

While DOT establishes the credential, the architecture and the supporting infrastructure through the General Services Administration's Smart Access Common ID contract, it also is seeking input from industry, consortia, federal agencies, academia and state and local governments for the second phase of the program.

"Specifically, the purpose is to identify promising advances, new and alternative methods and technologies, and innovative concepts for components, products and systems that will have the potential to significantly improve the functionality, performance and operation of the phase one TWIC system," the department wrote.

In coordination with the Transportation Security Administration, DOT's Research and Special Programs Administration will review the white papers once every three months.

"While phase one involves purchase of standard items and services from a GSA schedule, in this phase two, improvements in biometrics, smart cards interoperability and public key infrastructure technologies will be incorporated into the TWIC system," it continued.

The announcement will close June 30, 2003, unless amended.

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