Feeds

Accenture wins $10bn Homeland Security gig

Biometric database deal for offshore consortium

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

An Accenture-led consortium yesterday emerged as winners of a US border security contract worth up to $10bn over the next 10 years.

The Accenture-led Smart Border Alliance was selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a system designed to track foreign visitors to the US using biometric information obtained at entry points tied together with a huge system of interlinked databases.

The US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program is designed to address the security shortcomings that allowed the 11 September terrorists to move freely around the country despite the fact some were already under suspicion. The project will also allow authorities to confirm that visitors deemed suspicious adhere to stated travel plans and leave the States before their visa expires.

The scheme, championed by the counter-terrorist Department of Homeland Security, has received a frosty reception on Capitol Hill. The General Accounting Office has castigated the project as "very risky" and warned of significant management and oversight problems. Despite this the Republican-controlled Congress has mandated that US-VISIT must be deployed at the top 50 US land ports of entry by 31 December 2004.

Rather than concerning themselves about whether the scheme will succeed in its stated objectives, US press coverage thus far has focused on gripes from some politicians about awarding such a huge government contract to a company based outside the US. Accenture is based in Bermuda.

Raytheon, The Titan Corporation, and SRA International - other companies in the Accenture-led Smart Border Alliance - also stand to rake in lucrative work under the US-VISIT program contract, which includes five base years plus five option years.

Since January, visitors to the US from many countries have been fingerprinted or photographed. Under the US Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, countries whose citizens enjoy visa-free travel to the United States must issue passports with biometric identifiers no later than 26 October 2004. ®

Related stories

US plans $10bn computer dragnet
Uncle Sam fingerprints visitors
US names the day for biometric passports
Finger, faceprints get green light for Europe's ID standard
Everything you never wanted to know about the UK ID card
Beyond Fear A security primer for troubled minds
Bruce Schneier on crypto, the FBI, privacy and more
Broader surveillance won't prevent terrorism -Schneier

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.