$93 million NASA smart card project awarded

$93 million NASA smart card project awarded

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently awarded a $93 million task order to Maximus, Inc, Reston, Va., to assist NASA in developing a state-of-the-art smart card for agency employees and contractors to access facilities and information systems.

NASA is spearheading this government pilot program, which has been in the planning stages for two years with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and a working group of the federal government Interagency Advisory Board. GSA awarded the task order on Jan. 8, 2004, through its Smart Access Common ID Contract managed by the Federal technology Service (FTS) Center for Smart Card Solutions.

The “One NASA” smart card will enhance physical security for NASA facilities by authenticating an individual’s identity. It will also provide a higher level of identity assurance for the agency’s information technology systems. With the smart card, employees and contractors need only to swipe it across or insert it in a reader to access a NASA center, facility or computer system.

“NASA plans to run a small field trial in May at its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. If that is successful, the trial will be expanded to 2,000 employees,” said David Saleeba, NASA’s Assistant Administrator for Security Management and Safeguards. “If the field trials are successful, and we receive the approval of the Office of Management and Budget, we plan to deploy more than 100,000 smart cards before the end of FY 05.”

“GSA’s FTS is providing NASA with cradle-to-grave services on this task order including card management, enrollment, logical and physical access capabilities,” said FTS Commissioner Sandra Bates. “We look forward to working with NASA on this smart card deployment.”