U.S. Homeland Security Awards $71 Million Biometric Identity System Contract to Accenture

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Accenture Federal Services a 13-month; $71 million contract to further enhance the capabilities of its immigration and border management functions.

The contract supports the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT ) program, a biometric and biographic identity management system that helps federal, state and local officials determine if travelers can legally enter or remain in the United States. Work will include increasing the number and types of biometrics used in identification and adding technical services and capabilities to support users of the system.

Biometrics are unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, that can be used for automated recognition. Biometrics forms the basis of US-VISIT identification services because they are reliable, convenient and virtually impossible to forge. US-VISIT currently uses digital fingerprints and photographs. A pilot program included in the contract will test facial and iris voluntary identification enrollment and matching.

US-VISIT 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.

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