Interior hires Oberthur for HSPD-12 cards

The Interior Department has awarded Oberthur Card Systems a multiyear contract to provide smart cards for all their employees.

The Rancho Dominguez, Calf., company will issue Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 Federal Information Processing Standard 201 compliant smart cards.

Under this contract, Interior's National Business Center also will act as a shared-services provider, offering other agencies the opportunity to buy FIPS-201 compliant cards, said Patrick Hearn, Oberthur's director of business development for government identification.

'The contract is designed to also support small and midsize agencies,' Hearn said. 'The question I keep posing is, why develop your own infrastructure when you can hire the best of breed who does it for a living? There is a general movement toward this.'

Interior officials would not release the dollar amount of the contract because it eventually will charge other agencies fees for cards, and thus considers the cost of the procurement to be sensitive, Hearn said.

He added that Interior should start receiving cards this summer.

Oberthur is one of two card manufacturers with products under final review by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for FIPS-201 and FIPS 140-2 compliance.

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