NFC gets authentication certification

National Finance Center

The Federal Identity Credentialing Committee this month certified the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center, which allows the agency to provide digital authentication services to all federal agencies.

The NFC is teamed with Entrust Inc. for its public-key infrastructure services. In June, organization officials demonstrated their ability to issue and manage digital certificates for the PKIs that agencies are setting up around government for their high-security electronic transactions.

Under the E-Government Act of 2002, agencies developing new PKIs and must use providers certified under the Federal Common Policy Framework, which the FICC oversees. Agencies that are already cross-certified with the Federal Bridge Certification Authority — which allows agencies to use certificates issued by other agencies — do not have to switch to a new provider.

The NFC already provides many governmentwide services, focusing on payroll and personnel services, and officials have been looking for years at the possibility of also providing PKI services.

VeriSign Inc. is also going through the final phases of certification by the FICC.

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