The Department of Homeland Security has awarded Accenture a $30 million contract to expand international access to the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM). Accenture has been a prime integrator of what is the world’s largest biometric identifications system since 2004.
OBIM provides biometric identification services and “Watch List” capabilities for Known & Suspected Terrorists to numerous U.S. federal organizations and agencies, local law enforcement, INTERPOL and selected foreign countries. Work under the contract will decrease the time, cost and personnel required to support data sharing between the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.
Biometrics form the basis of OBIM identification services and this contract will add to biometric information sharing capabilities between the US and countries around the world. OBIM currently provides biometric information to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration. Upgrades under the contract also will enable biometric information to be shared in real-time with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Defense.
Accenture also will expand the use of secure web services to access existing OBIM data. The development of reusable “services” has allowed OBIM to decrease the time and cost for new users to access the system,from nine months to three weeks.
CivSource has previously reported on the growth of biometric services in a variety of agencies across government. Recently, the state of New Jersey has instituted the use of biometrics to track homeless populations and their use of aid services.