US TWIC program goes on but deadline bound to be missed
The TWIC program is to cover more than 750,000 port employees, longshoreman, mariners, truckers and others.
The attribution of the TWIC program to Lockheed Martin (cf. Smart Insights #07-05) had triggered some complaints from Integrated Biometric Technology (IBT), a subsidiary of L-1 Identity Solutions on the grounds TSA “misread certain key aspects” of their proposal (cf. SI #07-07). Now, L-1 Identity Solutions is back into the project, but as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin. As a result, IBT has agreed to withdraw its complaint. L-1 Identity Solutions will provide equipment and enrollment services for the TWIC program through Lockheed Martin
Daon a global provider of identity assurance software and services, announced it has also been selected by Lockheed Martin as a subcontractor for the TWIC program.
The TWIC program is still under scrutiny by lawmakers, who believe the deadlines mandated by law will not be met, in spite of the US$ 79 million (EUR 57.9 million) funding already allocated to the program. Members of the House Homeland Security Committee expressed concerns about the department's ability to begin testing of the TWIC program at US seaports by July 1, 2007. The first port where the testing is to take place is Wilmington, Delaware, but the TSA has yet to choose 9 other ports to complete the tests. TSA says it is working with Lockheed Martin to ensure the test will not disrupt port operations. Lockheed will eventually set up 130 locations across the country for port employees to enroll in the program, and the program is set to cover 2,500 maritime facilities and 5,300 vessels. The TSA also has to meet an October 1, 2007 deadline for scanning cargo at three foreign ports.