DHS launches RFP for HART
03 March 2017 16:05 GMT

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM) has engaged industry in a Request for Proposal (RFP) for new 'Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology' (HART) to replace the US-VISIT/IDENT system.

IDENT, which began operations in the mid-1990s, is OBIM's central biometric information storage and processing system, used for various homeland security and law-enforcement purposes. But after after conducting an analysis of alternatives in the past few years, DHS is develop a new biometric system to replace it.

Experts are already saying the new system will play a vital role, with partner at Identity Strategy Partners, Mark Crego, saying today that it will the update will be pivotal in the success of President Donald Trump’s planned vetting policies.

“OBIM's modernization, which is already highly complex identity management system, must be done right to serve its 48 current (and growing) customers, protect privacy, and assure against cyber attacks,” said Crego.

He added that the implementation of biometric exit will markedly increase the number of daily identity transactions, further complicating the challenge to a system that is now 12 years old and in dire need of the modernization represented by this RFP.

“OBIM's customers all have different missions with different identity needs, including watchlisting and identity resolutions. Customers include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who in turn services 40,000 state and local law enforcement customers; Customs and Border Protection for all inspections; and the Department of Defense for high risk identifications in the field. …

“Having spent five years of my career as US-VISIT's Chief Architect, I am well aware of OBIM's current limitations. To be clear: the current DHS identity management system was designed to house up to 200 million people's fingerprints, and support up to 250,000 identification transactions per day. Today the system has over 240 million identities and is conducting over 300,000 transactions per day, while simultaneously adding in face and iris biometric matching technologies.

“The fact that OBIM is maintaining operations despite having exceeded its original architecture is a testament to the prowess of OBIM. However, with facilitation and security demands ever increasing, volume increasing, and biometric front-end and software matching solutions having evolved and improved dramatically over the past decade, DHS must upgrade how the system manages and makes identity determinations that include face, iris and fingerprints simultaneously while scaling to at least 500 million identities in its database. In addition, the system must support at least 500,000 daily transactions, most in less than 10 seconds, to support border processing”, concluded Crego.

In February, NTT DATA said has received an $8 million contract to provide independent system-level test support and quality assurance services to the Department of Homeland Security‘s Office of Biometric Identity Management.

The company said Wednesday it will help sustain OBIM’s legacy Automated Biometric Identification System and support the implementation of DHS’ new Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology under the contract.

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