Pass Card contract talks stall

The State Department and General Dynamics, the leading company in the vendor team the government originally chose to carry out critical aspects of the Pass Card program, have "reached an impasse" in talks about how to carry out the job.

The Pass Card program is part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Pass Cards are intended to serve as cheaper alternatives to passports for use by citizens re-entering the country via land ports.

The General Dynamics team bested a group of companies led by L-1 Security Solutions Inc. in mid-January to win the Pass Card contract.

General Dynamics spokesman Mark Meudt confirmed that his company had "reached an impasse" in talks over Pass Card contract implementation within the past two weeks or so.

Meudt declined to say whether the dispute centered on technical issues or disagreements over the business terms of the contract award.

Market sources suggested that L-1 may have received the Pass Card contract following the breakdown of State's talks with General Dynamics.

L-1's chairman, chief executive officer and president, Robert LaPenta, stated in his Feb. 13 conference call with the press and the investor community that his company's executives were disappointed at having lost the Pass Card contract.

Neither the State Department nor L-1 Security Solutions responded to repeated requests for details on the matter submitted since yesterday afternoon.

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