Defense plans pilot test of cross-credentialing system

The Defense Department next month will begin testing a prototype credential-checking system.

The pilot will help DOD's Directorate of Information Assurance and Defense Manpower Data Center develop a system that can validate the identities of people trying to gain access to military installations and contractor facilities where Defense work is performed.

The center, which oversees the Defense databases storing identity information, will work with Northrop Grumman Corp. on the test. The directorate, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration, is paying $500,000 for the test, which will run through March.

Northrop Grumman and a team of vendors developed the Defense Cross-Credentialing Identification System as a proof-in-concept project for the department. The DCIS prototype will process smart cards issued under DOD's Common Access Card program as well as other standardized IDs in use at the agencies and contract sites participating in the prototype test.

'DCIS will provide a vital service for force protection,' said Wood Parker, vice president and general manager of the government IT division of Northrop Grumman's mission systems group.

Northrop Grumman will administer tests at vendor and Defense facilities in Maryland and Virginia and at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The pilot has several objectives:
  • Develop interoperable system concepts for accessing and validating contractor and government credentials at U.S. facilities and temporary overseas duty stations

  • Satisfy current policies, standards and processes with an automated access control system

  • Create a federated credentialing system between government and industry where the information on individuals remains under the control of their parent organizations.

Northrop Grumman's team includes BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va.; EDS Corp.; the Federated Electronic Government Coalition of Washington and SRA International Inc. of Fairfax, Va.

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