Army closes in on full PKI implementation

The Army is ahead of schedule in implementing the public-key infrastructure mandates of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, according to CIO Lt. Gen. Steven W. Boutelle.

More than 70 percent of Army personnel now log on to Army networks using the Common Access Card and a personal-identification number.

Lt. Gen. Charles E. Croom Jr., director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, set a July 31 deadline for full implementation of PKI. Croom wants DOD to use PKI to help improve the security of the services and agencies systems.

Boutelle said he was the first in the Army to get a smart card. Thereafter, the program was expanded to his G6 staff and then to the Army staff as a whole.
As for completing the implementation, Boutelle said, 'The last five percent is always the hardest.'

Vendor files protest over Army outsourcing pact

Northrop Grumman Corp. is protesting the Army Corps of Engineers' award of a six-year, $447 million A-76 outsourcing contract to a public-private partnership led by corps employees in conjunction with Lockheed Martin Corp.

The protest is based on 'improprieties in the selection process,' said Juli Ballesteros, a spokeswoman for Northrop Grumman Information Technology of Herndon, Va. Ballesteros declined to discuss details.

Northrop filed the protest with the Army Corps of Engineers but not with the Government Accountability Office, according to a GAO spokesman.
George Halford, a spokesman for the corps, also declined to discuss details but said, 'We are doing everything we can to process the protest within the applicable laws and regulations.'

He said the corps wants to resolve the matter by Aug. 10. 'Depending on our response to the protest, the contractor would have 10 days afterward to file a protest with GAO,' Halford said.

The competition began in June 2004 and involved work performed by about 1,350 employees and about 550 contractors at corps locations nationwide. The work includes communications, desktop and service desk support, strategic planning, testing, information security and visual information.


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