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Lockheed wins 10-year FBI biometric contract

By , IDG News Service
February 13, 2008 10:30 AM ET

IDG News Service - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has awarded Lockheed Martin a US$1 billion contract to build a next-generation biometrics-based identification system.

The biometric collection system and database, which has raised concerns of privacy groups, would include imaging of irises, faces and other identifying characteristics, the FBI said in a news release late Tuesday. Lockheed Martin will design, develop, test and deploy the Next Generation Identification System over the 10-year life of the contract.

The new system will expand on the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), primarily a fingerprint-based identification system operated in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the FBI said.

"IAFIS has been a fantastic tool in support of criminal justice and the war on terror," Thomas E. Bush III, assistant director of the FBI's CJIS Division, said in a statement. "[The new system] will give us bigger, better, faster capabilities and lead us into the future."

The American Civil Liberties Union has raised concerns about the biometric database, saying it's part of the U.S. government's efforts to collect more and more information about residents.

The new system will expand fingerprint capacity, doubling the size of the FBI's current database, and will also include palm prints, iris and facial recognition, Lockheed Martin said in a news release. The system will be designed to be flexible enough to accommodate future biometric technologies, the company said.

Among the companies working with Lockheed Martin on the contract will be Accenture and BAE Systems Information Technology.

Lockheed Martin will provide program management and oversight as well as development of biometric and large systems, the company said. Accenture's responsibilities will include interoperability and change management. BAE will work on external interface requirements engineering and security design.

The FBI contract was awarded through an open bidding process. Northrop Grumman and IBM also bid on the contract.

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