House committee wants report on access control system standards for DOD facilities

Also wants report on ability to determine if cards match list of stolen or lost cards

By Bob Brewin

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) wants the Comptroller General to examine in a report whether the Defense Department should develop common standards and protocols to control access to DOD installations and buildings, and determine whether ID cards are legitimate.

The HASC, in its version of the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill also asked the Comptroller General to determine whether such a system should have the ability to electronically check any identification card issued by any local, state or federal agency to determine whether that card is legitimate and not reported lost or stolen.

Nelson Ludlow, chief executive officer of Mobilisa, a small Pt. Townsend, Wash., company, said if the Comptroller General determines such technology is needed, his company is ready to deliver proven systems already used by Navy installations in the Pacific Northwest and the Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz.

The Air Force is testing the Mobilisa system at its Andrews and Bolling bases in the Washington D.C. area. Ludlow said.

Ludlow, a former Air Force pilot and computer scientist, said a system that can check on the legitimacy of military ID cards is essential in the current security climate as there are about 1 million lost or stolen military ID cards in existence.

While military personnel use common access cards, DOD installations have issued literally thousands of different types of IDs to provide base access for contractors and visitors. Setting joint standards and protocols would reduce the types of cards and improve security, Ludlow said.

He said the Mobilisa Defense ID system, housed in a rugged hand-held computer used by a base gate guard, can read and quickly determine the legitimacy of a military ID card on the spot. The system can also read drivers' licenses from every state as well as immigration cards, he added.

Mobilisa developed software and matching algorithms, Ludlow said, that compare ID cards handed over at the gate of a military installation against databases of lost or stolen cards or, at Navy installations in the Northwest, individuals banned from the bases.

The Mobilisa system can read cards equipped with smart chips, bar codes and magnetic stripes, Ludlow said.

The HASC wants the Comptroller General to submit his report on access control standards and controls by next May.

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