CSC unveils Border and Immigration Solutions center

Computer Sciences Corp. has created a Border and Immigration Solutions (BIS) center in Washington, D.C., as part of the company’s Centers of Excellence information technology solutions facilities. CSC plans to use the center to provide border security solutions to government agencies in the areas of identification management, border management and secure credentialing.

“The idea of the solution [center] is to gather best practices,” said Tim Ruggles, director of the center.

CSC’s establishment of the center comes as identity management has become a hot topic in recent months. Implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 will reach a major milestone Oct. 27. On that date all federal agencies must begin distributing interoperable personal identity verification (PIV) cards to their workers and contractors.

CSC’s new center could offer help, for instance, to the Transportation Security Administration, whose Transportation Worker Identification Credential program has been plagued by delays, Ruggles said.

Before opening the center, the company worked with the State Department’s Consular Affairs Office to provide 6.5 million border-crossing cards. It also provided an enterprise architecture implementation for the Homeland Security Department’s Citizenship and Immigration Service and its Customs and Border Protection’s frequent traveler programs.

CSC developed a biometric system with the Defense Department’s Biometrics Fusion Center, creating identification cards for troops in Iraq.

“We’ve begun looking back and realizing that we’ve generated on the order of 40 million identity cards, which is a lot of experience,” Ruggles said.

Alan Webber, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, said he believes CSC’s experience with identity management makes the company a natural choice to provide border security solutions.

“Immigration is a significant issue/ problem and given CSC’s background, it only makes sense that they would consolidate their current and past efforts under” a Center of Excellence, he said.

“Information on visitors to the country, including biometrics, is essential to definitively identify a person at the earliest point in the immigration process then verifying them at each consecutive point,” said Lynn Anne Casey, chief executive officer at Arc Aspicio, a homeland security and border management consulting firm. Without that definitive identification, systems like the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology entry-exit system and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services programs can’t work as well as they must, she added.

Webber noted that CSC was not the first contractor to offer a solution.

“Other [systems integrators] have taken a similar approach,” Webber said. Last month, Lockheed Martin teamed with Arizona State University in a multiyear security study arrangement. The university has its own border security research facility at its Tempe campus.

The first task for CSC’s new Center of Excellence is to build a demonstration model that will show how the identity management system solution works. Ruggles said he expects that to be completed later this year.

CSC is also planning to enter the realm of cards. Ruggles spoke about the Center of Excellence possibly printing PIV cards for agencies to achieve HSPD-12 compliance.

CSC’s Central Solutions

The Border and Immigration Solutions center is the latest of CSC’s 18 Centers of Excellence. Many of them have ties to or have worked with government agencies. The government- related centers include:

  • Aerospace Communications and Engineering. It specializes in flight software, ground control systems, spacecraft and ground simulations.

  • Air Traffic Management. A participant in NASA research efforts, the center specializes in modeling, training and simulations. It will be a part of a demonstration in airspace security over Washington, D.C.

  • Best Manufacturing Practices. It provides engineering, analytical and technological support to determine best practices for manufacturing from industry and government. The Manufacturing Technology Program at the Office of Naval Research sponsors the center.

  • Modeling and Simulation. This center makes simulated 3-D environments for training and testing. It works with the Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Analysis Center at the White Sands Missile Range.

  • Security. It provides strategy and program-planning support for security systems. It offered information to the National Security Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to test their Systems Security Engineering Capability Maturity Model.

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