Homeland Security promises TWIC by year's end

| Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Department of Homeland Security has said it will move forward with the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program by the end of the year, but some groups are saying there’s still much to be discussed.

The Associated Press reported that a Homeland Security spokeswoman said that everything in the program is moving forward on time, though the department is still in the process of reviewing nearly 2,000 comment documents filed regarding the program.

Once implemented, the program will require approximately 850,000 workers at ports and other secure locations – including truckers – to submit to background checks and obtain security cards with biometric identifiers such as fingerprints.

However, some groups want more discussion on the program before it moves forward.

The AP reported that the Chamber of Shipping in America is calling for another 60-day comment period. Kathy Metcalf, director of maritime affairs for the organization, told The AP that she was doubtful the program would be rolled out by the end of the year.

“It will take a few months to sort out the public feedback,” she said. “There are likely to be additional comment periods and public meetings.”