GSA lab is ready for HSPD-12 product testing

The General Services Administration's lab is ready to test six categories of vendor products for interoperability under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12.

April Giles, GSA's evaluation program chief architect, said at least three to five vendors in each of the six categories can submit, free of charge, early applications for approval.

GSA is testing products to make sure they are interoperable with each other, while the National Institute of Standards and Technology is assessing products and services to ensure they meet Federal Information Processing Standard 201.

The lab still is a few weeks away from reviewing all 20 product categories, Giles said during the recent Interagency Smart Card Advisory Board meeting in Arlington, Va.

NIST has issued one certification to Oberthur Card Systems of Rancho Dominguez, Calif., and has one other card under review. Three more are going through testing. It also is testing five middleware products for FIPS-201 certification.

GSA's lab is the second piece to the puzzle before agencies can buy approved products and services.

Giles said the card/reader interoperability testing phase of the lab is 99 percent complete. GSA has received all the deliverables, the card/reader requirements are finished and the requirements traceability matrix is finished.

'The card/reader requirements support interoperability between the two pieces of hardware,' Giles said.

She added that the deliverables included reader/card specifications and the test fixture, which is the device to perform the test, including the hardware and software.

The largest part of the lab, the development piece, is 60 percent complete, Giles said.

'This tells how the lab runs and the roles of individuals,' Giles said. 'This has been reviewed and pretty much approved by the Evaluation Program Technical Working Group.' EPTWG is made up of agency and vendor representatives.

Giles added that GSA still must update some of its Web tools, and complete and gain approval for the test processes for at least four of the categories. She said she expects the test procedures to be completed very soon.

The Web tools include letting vendors check the status of their product evaluations. GSA officials have said they hope to have the first set of approved products ready this month.

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