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MorphoTrust USA responds to GPO’s plans to manufacture secure identity documents

MorphoTrust USA SVP of government operations James Albers recently testified at a hearing held by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee regarding “Secure Immigration Identity Documents,” in which he discussed the role of the private sector in developing these documents.

The move follows the Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) announcement that it intends to enter the secure credentials business space as a competitor to the private sector industry, which currently manufactures the majority of secure credentials to government agencies.

The private sector industry has argued that the move would greatly exceed the GPO’s mandate. MorphoTrust USA released Albers’ statement in its entirety, which can be viewed here.

“Unfair competition from the Government Publishing Office (GPO) has distorted the marketplace for the manufacture of secure credentials for Federal agencies, undermining the foundation of this industry—in a way that threatens our nation’s ability to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters, would-be terrorists, and other criminal elements,” Albers writes in the statement.

He goes on to explain the extensive responsibilities of producing secure credentials “that extend well beyond ‘printing.’”

“These processes require technical expertise, innovation, research and development, as well as investment, all of which are best performed by a competitive private sector, motivated to provide the best products at the best prices,” writes Albers.

“Given the threats our country faces, now more than ever, the United States Government needs strong industry partners that are committed to security, quality, and investing in innovation,” writes Albers. “However, the GPO’s aggressive expansion into the federal secure credentials market removes the financial incentives for industry to invest in innovation.

Albers states that “a Federal agency’s ability to procure secure credentials directly from private vendors, through a full and open competitive procurement, should not be inhibited.”

In conclusion, he appeals to Congress to reform Title 44, Section 501 of the U.S. Code, which requires all printing for the Federal government to be conducted ‘by or through the GPO.’

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