FBI awards NGI contract to Lockheed Martin

The FBI announced today it has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract potentially worth $1 billion to design, develop and deploy of the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system.

The contract will consist of a base year and the potential for up to nine option years. 

The company’s team competed for the NGI contract with teams led by prime contractors Northrop Grumman and IBM.

A Northrop Grumman spokeswoman said her company was officially notified Feb. 12 that they did not win the NGI contract.

Lockheed Martin was favored for the new contract because it developed the FBI’s primary fingerprint collection system and database, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).

The FBI’s NGI system is an upgrade to IAFIS, which collects and stores fingerprints related to law enforcement investigations. NGI will collect photographs and palm prints and will make it easier for the FBI to share data.

The value of the multiyear contract is estimated at $1 billion by research firm Input, although some industry sources said it could be higher.

The contract will include engineering support, software and hardware support, an interstate photo system, advanced fingerprint technology and palm-print biometric identification. It might be expanded to include facial recognition and iris scans.

The bureau describes IAFIS as the world's largest biometric database. Its Criminal Master File contains fingerprints and corresponding criminal history information on more than 47 million people. The information comes from state, local and federal law enforcement agencies.

The FBI says that the NGI System will enhance fingerprint and latent print processing services and improve accuracy and capacity which will in turn improve the capabilities of the agency’s photo search capabilities.

In addition, recent media reports in the United Kingdom and elsewhere have said the FBI plans to expand the new biometric database to share information on international criminals with global partners, referring to it as a “server in the sky.” FBI officials did not respond to a request for comment on those reports.

About the Authors

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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