Davis: Why the delay on E-Authentication?

Davis: Why the delay on <br>E-Authentication?

Rep. Tom Davis is questioning whether the General Services Administration's E-Authentication Quicksilver initiative will be completed by March and wants to know how the project's delays are affecting the other 24 e-government initiatives.

In a letter to GSA administrator Stephen Perry, Davis (R-Va.), chairman of the Government Reform Committee, requested a briefing on GSA's efforts to address the E-Authentication's challenges.

Davis' letter stems from an upcoming General Accounting Office report that found limited progress in a variety of areas, including policy, acquisition and technology development.

'According to GAO, essential activities, such as developing authentication profiles for the other 24 initiatives, has not been completed,' Davis said. 'GSA also eliminated a step in the acquisition process to award a new contract for the operational systems. This action could mean the GSA will miss an opportunity to explore other potential solutions for designing the gateway.'

GAO also pointed out that GSA has yet to define user requirements, achieve interoperability among available authentication products or fully address funding, security and privacy issues, Davis said.

'The E-Authentication Gateway is critical to the federal government's effort to encourage stakeholders to use electronic processes to conduct transactions with the government and help make e-government a reality,' Davis said.

GSA has made progress with the project over the last few months. It has set up a governance structure, let the Social Security Administration's prisoner data system use the gateway in a live production environment, and released an E-Authentication policy guidance [see story].

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