Security Administration is moving ahead to develop a "smart
card" for transportation employees, including truckdrivers,
despite a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall, Government
Computer News reports.
Known as the
Transit Worker Identification Credential, the card is for physical
and network entry at several transportation nodes including ports,
railways and airports. The agency could request proposals from
industry to develop the technology this month.
has hit holdups, partly because Congress felt it outreached realistic
held back funding for TWIC last year, pointing out that the project
has programming uncertainties.
Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Related Agencies
called the idea of assigning single-card access to hundreds of
workers at dozens of entry points "so grandiose as to be
infeasible and unworkable."
help from the private sector, the committee wrote, "it is
unlikely that consensus across all the affected industries could
But TSA leaders
said ignoring the TWIC concept could put daily routines into more
disarray as work builds up.
a trucker who has paid for 23 separate background investigations
to enable him to have 23 separate credentials to get from Point
A to Point B to Point C," said James M. Loy, undersecretary
of transportation for security, speaking at a U.S. Conference
of Mayors meeting in late January.
an endless list of people associated with the transportation sector
in these hubs that we need to have confidence in, allowing them
unescorted access into certain corners of the transportation system,"
could stretch to international borders and policies, he said:
"If we can set the bar high for what the credentialing package
ought to be, we should be doing that."