Smart Card Alliance Commends GSA Government Smart Card Handbook

Smart Card Alliance Commends GSA Government Smart Card Handbook

Princeton Junction, NJ, March 16, 2004–The Smart Card Alliance commends the recently published Government Smart Card Handbook developed under the joint sponsorship of the General Services Administration Office of Governmentwide Policy and the Smart Card Interagency Advisory Board (IAB). The Handbook is based on contributions from experts in government, industry and academia, and includes input and review by members of the Smart Card Alliance Leadership Council.

“This is the most comprehensive and complete reference on smart cards currently available,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “We want to congratulate the GSA and the many other organizations and individuals involved on creating an excellent and informative tool. It is a terrific example of the public-private partnership the Alliance members and the smart card industry as a whole have with the issuers in the federal government.”

The Handbook is the result of government experience gained over the past several years with smart card programs that include many smart card implementations, pilots and projects conducted throughout the federal government. The purpose of this Handbook is to share lessons learned and to provide guidance to federal agencies contemplating the development and deployment of smart card-based identity and credentialing systems.

At the recently concluded Alliance conference “Smart Cards in Government–2004,” Bill Holcombe, director of Smart Card Policy in the GSA Office of Governmentwide Policy, moderated a panel discussion in which GSA shared details about the new Handbook and discussed plans for how the manual will benefit the government programs in the future.

“The Smart Card Alliance was invaluable in getting this project done,” said Holcombe. “The effort and expertise of the organization and its members contributed significantly to the overall quality of the Handbook.”

“The Handbook goes much farther than providing basic information–it is literally a roadmap for agencies and departments that are planning a smart card project,” said Ralph Billeri, senior manager for BearingPoint, Inc. and project leader on the Handbook.

A Smart Card Alliance Leadership Council member committee reviewed drafts of Handbook sections. Alliance members provided written comments and proposed additional content that was incorporated into the draft document. Resulting comments and edits were synthesized into recommended changes and provided to BearingPoint, the overall project manager. Participating Smart Card Alliance members included Atmel Corporation, Axalto, Datacard Group, Gemplus, IBM, Infineon Technologies, MasterCard International, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Philips Semiconductors, SCM Microsystems and Xtec, Incorporated.

“The GSA Project is the result of excellent and in-depth work by a group of smart card experts and many highly qualified and talented individuals. When constructing a high-story building, the foundation is one of the most critical parts of the project. Similarly the GSA Handbook serves as a critically important base from which to build any number of different and interoperable applications for U.S. government agencies and departments. The benefits of this comprehensive work will result in an unparalleled level of security for the end user,” said Alex Giakoumis, smart card product manager, Atmel Corporation.

Neville Pattinson, director, business development and technology for IT and public sector, Axalto, said, “The new GSA Government Smart Card Handbook will be extremely valuable for agencies starting their smart ID card programs. This Handbook provides an excellent jumpstart for any newcomer to the field who needs to deploy a smart ID card program. The updated document includes extensive information gathered from experts in government and industry on both smart cards and other related technologies, such as biometrics and PKI, which agencies will need to understand as they plan their implementation.”

An electronic copy of the GSA’s Government Smart Card Handbook can be found by visiting the Alliance’s Web site at /.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. For more information please visit