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DHS awards $102.8M contract for biometric IDs to XTec following reevaluation


The Department of Homeland Security has reevaluated its decision to award HP Enterprise Services the contract to upgrade its employee badge system, and has given the contract to XTec Inc instead.

Reported in Nextgov, DHS decided to reevaluate the award to HP following a complaint from XTec that said proposals weren’t reasonably evaluated.

HP originally won the ten-year, $102.8 million contract to replace and upgrade employee identification cards and add accommodations for new biometric modalities like iris in September 2013.

Xtec, which had previously provided software for the project, was awarded the contract on Feb. 28, following DHS’s reevaluatio. According to the Nextgov report, the value and timeline for this project will remain the same.

Iris recognition has seen a renewed attention in the biometrics community as of late, following NIST’s publication of the much-anticipated FIPS 201-2 document, which adds optional iris images to standard PIV credentials. 

NIST has also recently published a new IREX study, which found that iris is a stable biometric modality, not affected over time by aging eyes.

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