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DHS looks to maintain, replace biometric database system


The Office of Biometric and Identity Management (OBIM) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected Enterprise Resource Planned System International, LLC (ERPSI) — a joint venture team between Planned Systems International, Inc. (PSI) and ERP International, LLC (ERP) — to establish and maintain a reporting environment for the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT), one of the largest biometric databases in the world.

IDENT is the central DHS-wide system for storage and processing of biometric and associated biographic information for national security, law enforcement, immigration and border management, intelligence, background investigations for national security positions and certain positions of public trust and associated testing, training, management reporting, planning and analysis, or other administrative uses.

The system stores and analyzes biometric data, digital fingerprints and photographs, and links that data with biographic information to match or verify the established identities.

The award includes a one-year base period of performance and three option years and provides DHS OBIM with a biometric processing system to rapidly identify and verify subjects using fingerprints. ERPSI will provide services in the following task areas: data architecture, database administration, application and system administration, and information security.

“We eagerly look forward to supporting the DHS mission by providing services that help Government decision makers accurately identify persons who could pose a risk to the U.S., and to give them the ability to make quick, complete decisions based on all available information,” said PSI CEO Terry Lin. “We’re proud to extend our impeccable record of reliability and service in developing mission-critical systems for Federal agencies, including the Defense Health Agency, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The services will support the system’s operational data store environment to provide automated access to mission critical data that can be made readily available outside the IDENT production environment.

A report recently published in Defense Daily noted that a landmark decision by DHS will allow OBIM to approach industry to develop a new multimodal biometric storage and matching system to replace IDENT.

DHS noted in its in most recent budget submission that would request US$52.8 million for a replacement biometric identification system. The department has said on previous occasions that it requires a new system to deal with increasing requests, and that a transition to a Web-based services-oriented architecture is required. The department claims that the implementation of a replacement system would provide DHS agencies with additional identity confirmation options, helping them overcome operational challenges in the field.

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