April 10, 2017 -
The United States Department of State is researching a biometric system for the Mexican government that could potentially be used to communicate with the systems of many U.S. government agencies, according to a report by FedScoop.
The recent request for information states that the system should be comprised of predominantly commercially available off-the-shelf products for software licensing, maintenance, and development services.
The biometric system should be interoperable with Mexican biometric applications, as well as systems at the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense.
In the RFI, the State recommends that the system includes identification and verification for face, finger, iris and voice.
The request is part of the Mérida Initiative, a security cooperation agreement signed in June 2008 between the United States and the government of Mexico and the countries of Central America. In 2015, the U.S. and Mexican governments approved the $75 million program to help Mexico “develop an automated, interagency biometrics system to help agencies collect, store, and share information on criminals and migrants,” according to a Congressional Research Service report from earlier this year.
The initiative aims to combat the threats of drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and money laundering.
“Through the Merida Initiative, the U.S. government and the Government of Mexico are procuring biometrics technology to enhance coordination on border security and migration management activities,” said a State Department spokesperson.