Magazine article National Defense

Despite Progress, ID Program Still Far Behind

Magazine article National Defense

Despite Progress, ID Program Still Far Behind

Article excerpt

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential, a high-tech secure ID card for ports, is still seeing major delays in its implementation.

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"It has been six years since the Transportation Worker Identification Credential was mandated into law," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "The program is far from being fully operational."

The TWIC would provide an identification card to maritime workers who need access to secure areas at port facilities. The card stores fingerprints, as well as a digital photograph. The cardholder must also pass a background check conducted by the Transportation Security Administration.

Enrollment is still far from complete. As of September, the Department of Homeland Security, through its contractor, Lockheed Martin, enrolled about 500,000 transportation workers in the program, Thompson said during a recent hearing. The department is running out of time, and has until April to get one million additional participants on board.

Further slowing the process is the availability of scanners that can read the cards. TSA has still not deployed the required biometric readers. …

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