Agencies miss HSPD-12 target

Agencies have issued fewer than one-third of the more than 5 million secure, interoperable identification cards they are required to give federal employees and contractors under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, according to a report from the Office of Management and Budget.

The cards allow authorized users to gain access to government buildings and eventually will be used for computer systems.

OMB had originally hoped that agencies would issue all the cards by Oct. 27. It became apparent that that was not likely to happen, so OMB set less expansive goals for 25 agencies to meet by that deadline. Only 12 of the agencies met those goals.

DOD leads the way. Of the 1.59 million cards issued, 1.17 million went to DOD employees and contractors.

However, other national security-related agencies have not done as well. For example, the Homeland Security Department had issued cards to 1,228 people of the roughly 255,000 employees and contractors who need the cards. The Justice Department had issued fewer than 5,000 of the roughly 110,000 it needs to distribute.

After President Bush issued HSPD-12 in August 2004, OMB published a series of memoranda instructing agencies on how to issue the cards. OMB also consulted with agencies to develop implementation plans.

OMB recently issued recommendations to help agencies that are still struggling to implement the program, said Karen Evans, administrator of OMB’s Office of E-Government and Information Technology.

Jeremy Grant, an analyst at investment research company Stanford Group, said he was not surprised that many agencies missed the deadline. The question now is what the next administration will do to continue the effort, he added.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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