Adm. James M. Loy, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator today announced the awarding of a contract to Maximus of Reston, VA. Maximus will lead the efforts to field-test various technologies that will lead to a common and universally recognized Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) for all transportation workers requiring unescorted access to secure areas of transportation facilities.
The TWIC program, when fully implemented, will establish common credentials to the more than 12 million transportation workers. It is being designed in order to facilitate background checks for transportation workers who will be required to have them.
“TWIC is the next step to enhance security for all the modes of the transportation system: keeping us one step ahead of the terrorist,” said Adm. Loy. “On Sept. 11, the terrorists used our own aviation system against us, which caused a catastrophic loss to lives and to the transportation system and to our national economy. The TWIC program is being designed to “plug the holes” that may still exist by not allowing persons with dubious backgrounds to have access to secure locations of a transportation facility.”
The TWIC program will provide the transportation industry enormous benefits. First, it will provide biometric standards for TWIC designed to clearly identify employees who require unescorted access to secure locations or non-public areas within a transportation facility. Second, TWIC will enable workers and employers to invest more time moving people and cargo and to invest less time obtaining, using, and safeguarding multiple IDs to keep commerce and the economy moving. Third, protecting the privacy of transportation workers by keeping only limited information on the card and central databases.
During this evaluation phase, Maximus will begin to test and evaluate different types of technologies at multiple facilities across different modes of transportation at pilot sites. These pilot sites include the Mid-Atlantic Region of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the Los Angeles/Long Beach, CA area.
“The success of the TWIC Program will be determined by the ability to satisfy three overarching goals: improve security, enhance commerce, and protect personal privacy,” said Adm. Loy.
Under the terms of the competitively awarded contract, Maximus will assist TSA in the technology evaluation phase of the program. The contract was awarded for $3.8 million and is for 150 days. Maximus will be working with several sub-contractors including EDS of Plano, TX; ActivCard of Fremont, CA; Data Trac/SEI Technology of Harrisonburg, VA; Information Spectrum, Annandale, VA; and ActCom of Virginia Beach, VA.