The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the award of a $12 million contract to BearingPoint, Inc. to begin the Prototype Phase of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). This is the third phase in developing a program to improve security at seaports, airports, rail, pipeline, trucking and mass transit facilities by creating a nationwide credential that will prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to secure areas.
"The TWIC program is a win-win for transportation workers and for the security of our homeland," said Rear Adm. David M. Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA. "The TWIC will be issued to transportation workers after thorough screening for ties to terrorism and will utilize a biometric to eliminate the use of fraudulent credentials. The nationwide card will also eliminate the need for workers to obtain multiple credentials thereby making the identification process faster and more efficient."
The goal of the seven-month prototype is to analyze the administrative and business processes involved in collecting transportation worker data, performing background checks, issuing credentials and studying the day-to-day use of the cards. In the prototype, about 150,000 workers from maritime, rail, aviation and ground modes of transportation are expected to participate at over 40 sites in six states.
The TWIC is a tamper-resistant credential that contains biometric information about the credential holder. Through this biometric data, each transportation facility can verify the identity of a worker and prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing secure areas.
Prototype operations will be conducted in three regions of the country: Camden, N.J., Islip, N.Y., Philadelphia, Pa., and Wilmington, Del.; the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.; and the 14 major port facilities in the state of Florida. Participation is voluntary and will include truckers, longshoremen, and container terminal and airport personnel.
BearingPoint, Inc. will provide TSA guidance in enrollment processing, securing the supply chain, and integrating with access control systems currently in use in transportation infrastructures. The vendor will also assist in compiling a final report that will detail the results of the prototype phase and steps necessary for a national roll out of the program.