House committee wants report on access control system standards for DOD facilities

HASC 2007 DOD Authorization Bill

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The House Armed Services Committee wants the comptroller general to examine in a report whether the Defense Department should develop common standards and protocols to control access to DOD installations and buildings, and determine whether identification cards are legitimate.

The committee, in its version of the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill, also asked the comptroller general to determine whether such a system should have the capability to electronically check any ID card issued by any local, state or federal agency to determine whether that card is legitimate and has not reported lost or stolen.

Nelson Ludlow, chief executive officer of Mobilisa, a small Port Townsend, Wash., company, said if the comptroller general determines such technology is needed, his company is ready to deliver proven systems already used by Navy installations in the Pacific Northwest and the Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz.

The Air Force is testing the Mobilisa system at its Andrews and Bolling bases in the Washington D.C., area, Ludlow said.

Ludlow, a former Air Force pilot and computer scientist, said a system to check the legitimacy of military ID cards is essential in the current security climate because about 1 million military ID cards are lost or stolen.

Although military employees use common access cards, DOD installations have issued thousands of different types of IDs to provide base access for contractors and visitors. Setting joint standards and protocols would reduce the types of cards and improve security, Ludlow said.

He said the Mobilisa Defense ID system, housed in a rugged handheld computer used by a base gate guard, can read and quickly determine the legitimacy of a military ID card on the spot. The system can also read driver’s licenses from every state and immigration cards, he said.

Mobilisa developed software and matching algorithms, Ludlow said, that compare ID cards handed at the gate of a military installation against databases of lost or stolen cards or, at Navy installations in the Northwest, databases of individuals banned from the bases.

The Mobilisa system can also read cards with smart chips, bar codes and magnetic stripes, Ludlow said.

The committee wants the comptroller general to submit his report on access control standards and controls by May 2007.

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