Identix contract reaffirmed

The Homeland Security Department has reaffirmed last October's decision to award a five-year blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to biometric firm Identix Inc. despite a protest from a competitor, company officials said.

That means Minnetonka, Minn.-based Identix will resume processing an initial order for an electronic fingerprint system worth $2.3 million that was placed Oct. 7, 2003, by DHS, Identix spokesman Damon Wright said.

The company was originally awarded the contract Oct. 3, 2003, following a competitive bidding process to provide TouchPrint 3000 live scan systems that electronically capture fingerprint images and match them against a database. But Wright said a competitor, whom he didn't identify, lodged the protest.

Although the department obtained dismissal of the protest from the General Accounting Office, DHS re-evaluated all technical and price proposals and issued a stop-work order for the initial order, Wright said. Department officials notified Identix March 10 that they would reaffirm the award to the company.

"This is fantastic for Identix," Wright said. "All along we were very confident [the contract] would be reaffirmed for Identix."

DHS estimated it would use $27 million of biometric service and equipment over five years, he said. But the BPA itself has no minimum guarantee and no maximum spending cap, he said.

The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services would be the BPA's main beneficiary, but other DHS agencies also can use it, Wright said.

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