e-Authentication prototype awaits e-gov projects

The federal government has an operational prototype of the e-Authentication gateway, one of the Office of Management and Budget’s 25 Quicksilver e-government projects, that is managing access to two applications.

Now, it’s up to the managers of the other 24 e-government projects to catch up and use the gateway, said David Temoshok, director for identity policy and management in the General Services Administration’s Office of Governmentwide Policy.

“We’re looking for applications to link to the gateway,” he said at an Association for Federal Information Resources Management luncheon in Washington today.

E-Authentication is the linchpin of the Quicksilver initiatives, said G. Martin Wagner, associate administrator for governmentwide policy at GSA. “It makes everything work, and is absolutely critical,” he said

The prototype is managing access to the National Finance Center’s time-and-attendance and payroll reporting systems.

But the gateway isn’t ready to handle full-scale traffic from the other e-government initiatives. “We have not done scalability,” Temoshok said.

He said GSA hopes to have about a dozen e-government applications linked to the gateway next year.

Mitretek Systems Inc., a nonprofit scientific-research organization in Falls Church, Va., is hosting the gateway’s prototype.

As agencies work on their e-government projects next year, GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy is developing a written taxonomy that will establish a process by which credential providers such as smart-card developers, biometric-systems providers and certificate authorities can link to the gateway.

The gateway is scheduled to be operational in 2003 with or without a completed set of rules and policies, Temoshok said.

The taxonomy is necessary because there are “different levels of applications that require different levels of authentication,” Wagner said.

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