Where’s the Money?
This month marks a milestone in the Federal government’s efforts to develop a system of smart cards and biometrics that is interoperable across agencies.
The so-called HSPD-12 effort, as defined by the FIPS 201 standard, represents a massive Federal mandate to make government identification credentials trustworthy and consistent. The first deadline this month (Oct. 27) refers to the creation of the credential, after which work continues in earnest to implement systems to take advantage of the new credential (see page 16).
But as impressive as the goals of the mandate are, there appears to be a big missing piece related to their implementation — funding. It is all well and good to require (mandate) that something happen, but thought also needs to be given to how it can be paid for. Is it feasible to expect agencies to accomplish this monumental task without the aid of additional funding? The tools are there, but they don’t come cheap.
If the goal of trustworthy identification for Federal employees is worthy of a Presidential Directive, it is also worthy of a thoughtful expenditure of funds to make it happen.