NBC is seeking customers for HSPD-12 offering

An agency looking for help from a shared-services provider in order to comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 has options, but one provider claims to be the best.

'We believe we provide the best value,' said Michael Colburn, program manager for HSPD-12 initiatives for the National Business Center in the Interior Department.

HSPD-12 specifies that agencies must have the capability to begin issuing interoperable identification smart cards to contractors and new employees in at least one location by Oct. 27.

Speaking at a breakfast in Washington sponsored by the Potomac Forum of Potomac, Md., Colburn said NBC provides a holistic approach to HSPD-12, one that is not just about issuing an ID card.

Noting that NBC is an Office of Management and Budget-approved shared-services provider for lines of business including human resources, financial management and payroll, Colburn said his agency offers a broad array of services that the other HSPD-12 shared-service provider, the General Services Administration, does not.

'We will be leveraging a tried and true service delivery model,' he said, adding that NBC has not lost any customers for its services.

'We are constantly gaining new customers because of our reputation on the street.'

Colburn outlined some factors to consider when choosing a shared-services provider, such as experience in delivering shared services, a track record for implementing large clients, existing customer satisfaction and cost. He gave examples of how his agency satisfies these criteria.

David Temoshok, GSA's director of identity management and policy, acknowledged that NBC is offering more services but indicated that competition is healthy for not only the government, but for taxpayers as well.

'What we're trying to do is be compliant with HSPD-12 and give agencies options that allow them flexibility' to meet the deadline, Temoshok said during Friday's discussion. 'The idea that agencies can choose is a positive development.'

At this point, comparing only cost, GSA offers a cheaper solution, both Temoshok and Colburn noted. For the first two years, each card under the GSA solution will cost agencies approximately $110, which includes operations and maintenance as well as the cost of setting up the HSPD-12 solution. That price can go down as more agencies sign up.

NBC has structured a similar volume-based pricing tier, and at this point, if the agency issues 200,000 cards, an individual card will cost $120 for the first year and $44 for each of the next two years, for a total of $208. If they receive orders for 300,000 cards, the price drops to $100 for the first year and $32 for each of the next two years, a total of $163 for three years.

Meanwhile, both agencies are continuing negotiations to share card enrollment stations at locations at which both agencies share clients.

The agencies, which have been meeting for weeks, are nearing a formal agreement, Colburn said after his speech.

An agreement 'has not been signed yet, but it's imminent,' Colburn said.

GCN staff writer Rob Thormeyer contributed to this story.

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