GSA HSPD-12 testing lab makes progress

The General Services Administration's lab to test vendor products for interoperability under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 and Federal Information Processing Standard 201 is ready to review products in six categories.

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

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 FIPS-201.

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

NIST has issued one certification earlier this month to Oberthur Card Systems of Rancho Dominguez, Calif., has one other card under review and three others 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.' The EPTWG is made up of agency and vendors.

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 has said they hope to have the first set of approved products ready by May.

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