GSA gears up for HSPD 12 buys

"Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 sources sought notice"

The General Services Administration has shifted into acquisition gear for a secure federal identity card program that could cost millions of dollars to implement governmentwide.

In a Dec. 12 notice on the Federal Business Opportunities’ Web site, GSA showcased the components that federal agencies must buy to comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12. The directive requires federal agencies to issue compliant identity cards to their employees and contractors beginning Oct. 27, 2006.

The notice gives companies until Jan. 9 to submit information about their capabilities for offering and operating electronic identity registration systems, identity management systems, card management systems, card printing systems and public-key infrastructure certificate authority services by Aug. 27 next year, which is 60 days before the Oct. 27 HSPD-12 deadline.

The HSPD-12 notice indicates that GSA is interested in large-volume, five-year pricing based on 100,000, 250,000, 500,000 and more than 1 million cardholders.

GSA wants vendors to submit ideas on standardizing the cards' management interfaces in the absence of a federal specification that would solve that interoperability problem.

GSA is also soliciting information on the practicality of the government’s proposed performance standards for HSPD-12 system components. One such standard requires that each employee be registered in 15 minutes. Another requires that each component of an HSPD-12 system have no more than 43 minutes of unplanned downtime a month.

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