recommended reading

HP Lands $103 Million DHS Employee ID Contract

Sergey Nivens/

HP won a $102.8 million contract to upgrade Homeland Security Department employee identification cards with features that accommodate iris and facial recognition, according to federal funding databases. The potentially 10-year-deal, awarded a day before the government shut down, requires the company to replace the department's fingerprint ID system with more complex authentication tools, such as scans of the colored portion of the eye. 

DHS in May kicked off the competition for the job, which drew interest from Booz Allen Hamilton, CGI Federal, incumbent contractor XTec, and 36 other companies that sent representatives to a June 11 industry briefing. 

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress mandated that all federal personnel carry smart card credentials to access government facilities and networks. Today, many federal workers, including 82 percent of DHS computer users, flash the credentials at guards, rather than digital readers, largely because the cards’ electronic components remain dormant, according to internal audits. Homeland Security is aiming to replace 161,924 cards in 2013 and 116,172 cards in 2014, contract papers state. 

To qualify for the job, vendors had to propose technologies that "support future alternative biometric capabilities and standards, specifically such as facial recognition, iris capture, storage, and matching," according to technical specifications. 

For years, there have been no consistent procedures for exchanging eye images between cameras and card readers. That changed in July after the National Institute of Standards and Technology finalized guidelines for incorporating iris scans into employee IDs.

HP's DHS work also is expected to involve "the full range of program management support, engineering services, labor, materials, and equipment,” from employee enrollment to card reader synching, the contract filings state. 

(Image via Sergey Nivens/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.