Procurement Close-up: Lockheed Martin wins TWIC contract
The Transportation Security Administration has awarded a contract for new, secure identification cards for port workers to Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md.
The initial value of the contract, which involves issuing ID cards to 750,000 maritime workers, was estimated at $70 million. The contract could prove far more valuable, however, if it leads to other, related deals for the firm: Identity technology is a fast-growing sector for government contractors, and the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, known as TWIC, is the first of many identity contracts slated to be announced in the next few years.
The Washington Post reports that Darrin Kayser, a TSA spokesperson, would not confirm on Wednesday that the agency had made its decision but indicated that an announcement is imminent. “It is fundamental to our nation’s security that individuals who pose a security threat do not gain access to our nation’s ports,” Kayser says. “The TWIC contract, which will be awarded in the coming days, allows us to move forward and begin enrollment at selected ports in March.”
The Transportation Workers Identity Credential, or TWIC, will be issued to workers who pass government background checks. The cards, which will eventually be required of up to 6 million workers in rail yards, airports and seaports in order to access secure areas, will contain the individual’s photograph and name. A chip also will store the holder’s fingerprint template, a PIN and other unique identifying information.
Lockheed Martin beat out seven other firms for the deal, including BearingPoint Inc., which did the bulk of the development work, Computer Sciences Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and Motorola Inc.