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U.S. Department of State looking to adopt system that captures and processes biometric identifiers


The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is seeking to adopt a new system which would allow it to electronically capture and process biometric identifiers to determine threats to the country, according to a report by Washington Technology.

The department wants to use biometric enrollment data file plans to compare the data against other U.S. terrorist, intelligence and criminal databases to pinpoint potential criminals.

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is also looking to use the system for its own criminal investigations and personnel security.

State officials regularly gather fingerprints in criminal investigations, while the department is currently using biometrics to perform various tasks, such as employee vetting, access control, and ID card issuance.

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is looking to hire a company that can manage the workflow of electronic biometric transmission specification files into the centrally located storage database that the state department operates.

Among the many tasks the system must be able to perform are assessing whether the data already exists, migrating the data to non-State Department systems for comparison, and receiving responses from the external systems.

State officials said that all biometric files will include fingerprints, although they have not decided if any will also include face and iris data. But officials said they expect that approximately 40% of all files will feature fingerprints and either facial and iris data by 2018.

The State department’s goal is to have the central server completely integrated within a year and incrementally build about 500 biometric collection stations in domestic and oversea locations over a three-year period.

Though the officials have yet to finalize a specific timeline for the project, they anticipate 300 enrollments a day for the first year and for that number to rise considerably over the years. They project that they will reach less than 1 million enrollments in five years.

The department wants the solution to be integrated together with the CrossMatch LiveScan Guardian biometric capture device and the flatbed scanner, both of which they are currently using.

The department also intends on purchasing a product and contract for support services that will run the technical solution from its facilities and equipment.

General Services Administration issued the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s request for information July 1 for a responses deadline of July 31.

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