DHS ramps up TWIC program

The Homeland Security Department is kick-starting national deployment this year of new biometric security credentials for transportation workers, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff announced today.

By the end of summer, DHS will check the backgrounds of 400,000 port workers as part of its distribution of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), Chertoff said.

“It is fundamental that individuals who pose a security threat do not gain access to our nation’s ports,” he said in a statement. “The name-based checks will provide an immediate security boost while we simultaneously complete the work to implement a secure national transportation worker credential.”

Initially, the program will screen longshoremen and maritime employees of facility owners and operators, DHS officials said. Eventually all transportation workers will need TWICs to enter secure areas without escorts.

The U.S. Coast Guard will collect workers’ biographical information and pass it on to the Transportation Security Administration, which will screen workers through the Terrorist Screening Center, DHS officials said.

TWIC cards will eventually include biometric information, but the Coast Guard will not collect it at this time, DHS officials said.

The department will soon publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for TWIC, which will contain more information on the program, Chertoff said.

TSA has already started seeking a contractor to help enroll workers in the TWIC program, DHS officials said.

TSA tested TWICs last year. It issued more than 4,000 prototype cards to workers at 26 sites in six states, DHS officials said.


  • 2018 Fed 100

    The 2018 Federal 100

    This year's Fed 100 winners show just how much committed and talented individuals can accomplish in federal IT. Read their profiles to learn more!

  • Census
    How tech can save money for 2020 census

    Trump campaign taps census question as a fund-raising tool

    A fundraising email for the Trump-Pence reelection campaign is trying to get supporters behind a controversial change to the census -- asking respondents whether or not they are U.S. citizens.

  • Cloud
    DOD cloud

    DOD's latest cloud moves leave plenty of questions

    Speculation is still swirling about the implications of the draft solicitation for JEDI -- and about why a separate agreement for cloud-migration services was scaled back so dramatically.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.