Agencies take a deep breath as officials review HSPD-12 rollout

With the Oct. 27 deadline to begin issuing federal workers new identification cards now in the rear view, officials charged with implementing Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 will analyze whether the initial rollout of the new IDs is working satisfactorily or needs some modifications.

Michael Butler, chairman of the Government Smart Card Interagency Advisory Board and director of the Defense Department's Common Access Card office, said the new IDs will be issued sporadically throughout the rest of the year while officials determine how well the program is working.

Butler, who is on loan to the General Services Administration through December, said he expects the program to pick up dramatically starting in January.

'We have people to train and processes to review,' he said at an IAB meeting Thursday in Washington. 'We have to look at what happened last week' and determine if changes are needed before ramping up production next year. Everyone needs to sit back and say, 'We need to make sure all of this works.''

For one thing, GSA earlier this week said it will recompete its contract with BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., that helped the agency set up four enrollment stations across the country before the Oct. 27 deadline.

Michel Kareis, director of GSA's HSPD-12 Managed Services Office, said the agency is taking this action because the number of HSPD-12 approved products and services has increased significantly since this summer, when the BearingPoint contract was awarded.

'The market is much more mature, and we believe that [a new] competition will bring down prices and result in a more robust product,' Kareis said at the meeting.

Officials could not specify when a new competition will take place. BearingPoint's contract expires Jan. 7.

GSA, as one of two HSPD-12 shared-services providers, is servicing 40 agencies, Kareis said.

Overall, Butler said, approximately 80 agencies, either on their own or through the SSPs, met last Friday's deadline, including the departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services; the Social Security Administration; NASA; and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Interior Department's National Business Center, the other SSP, also started issuing cards for its 17 agency customers, he said.

Issuing cards should 'not be a race,' Butler said. 'It should be commonplace.'

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